Established, since 1997, leading UK based training provider.
Celebrating 25 years in business! CPD Member - The CPD Certification Service ilm Recognised Provider

How to Find the Root Causes of Business Problems

How to Find the Root Causes of Business Problems

Finding the Root Causes of Business Problems

As business managers, it is our responsibility to identify the root causes of problems and find effective solutions. However, finding the set of unique causal conditions that determine the occurrence of specific events is not a simple task. Scientists have encountered numerous false causes and have found that these errors in judgment have causes themselves.

These are the common errors of judgment that business managers must avoid in order to find accurate solutions.

Inattentive observation:

Lazy, or inapt recording of data, or badly maintained instruments, can introduce errors right at the start of the investigation process. To ensure accurate results, it is important to meticulously record data and maintain accurate instruments.

Incomplete observation:

Every investigation must define its scope and if the limits are drawn too narrowly, relevant information will be excluded, which can lead to incorrect conclusions.

Rejection of information that does not conform to belief:

All business managers have personal beliefs and tend to readily accept and integrate only information that confirms their existing beliefs. This can result in the rejection of new evidence that contradicts their thought patterns.

Mistaking Correlation for a cause:

The correlation-cause error is one of the most common in business management. It is easy to assume that whenever two events occur together, one is causing the other. However, this is not always the case. For example, increased sales and a rise in consumer confidence may occur together, but one does not necessarily cause the other.

As business managers, we must remain cautious against this error and look for multiple factors that may contribute to a given outcome.

Mistaking Symptoms for causes:

It is common to mistake symptoms of problems for their true causes. For example, high employee turnover may be perceived as the root cause of low morale, when in reality it could be due to poor leadership, or inadequate benefits.

As business managers, it is important to not mistake symptoms for the true causes of problems and to conduct a thorough investigation to find the root causes.


Finding the true causes of events is crucial for effective problem solving in business management. By avoiding these common errors in judgment, we can ensure that our investigations are accurate, and our solutions are effective.

Problem Solving Training

Our Problem Solving training course teaches delegates to be more skilful at identifying potential issues and feel more confident at handling problems in general.

About the Author: Chris Farmer


Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

Blogs by Email

Do you want to receive an email whenever we post a new blog? The blogs contain article 5-10 minutes long - ideal for reading during your coffee break!

Further Reading in Leadership and Management

  • Management Training: Problem Solving Skills
    If you are a manager, then you need to be a problem solver. Read our blog to learn about the three fundamental aspects to problem solving.
    Read Article >
  • Effective Leadership
    Effective Leadership - leadership training What are the definitions, examples and qualities of effective leadership? Definition of leadership: A leader is person who is able to create and sustain a clear vision for a better future and who is able to communicate that vision so as to inspire others to act...
    Read Article >
  • What is the Power Interest Matrix?
    The Matrix is based on the amount of information and interest all the different stakeholders in a project have, and consequently the correct amount of communication each of these groups should receive. How can this be achieved?
    Read Article >
  • Management Problems
    The three major reasons for management problems are: other people, poor systems and mother nature. In order to manage effectively, we need to develop our management skills.
    Read Article >
  • What skills do you need to be a leader?
    Leaders have a set of skills and abilities which enables them to see a better future and work towards it. They are willing to adapt and change their plans and inspire others. How many of these ten leadership abilities do you have?
    Read Article >

Looking for Leadership and Management Training?

If you're looking to develop your Leadership and Management Skills, you may find this Leadership and Management Training Course beneficial:

Open Training Course Pricing and Availability

22 - 23 March
Birmingham - Central
£900 +VAT
4 - 5 April
Online - Teams
£900 +VAT
19 - 20 April
£900 +VAT
25 - 26 April
London - Central
£900 +VAT
More dates and locations available
Save £100 on this course

Next Open Course Running tomorrow in Birmingham - Central, places available Book Now >