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

  • What Does Leadership Mean to You?
    Leadership entails possessing skills like goal setting, effective communication, planning, conflict resolution, self-mastery, and inspiration to inspire others toward shared objectives.
    Read Article >
  • Three Major Keys to Leadership
    There are many skills a leader needs, but they can be grouped into three major sets. Take a look at these three major keys to good leadership and improve your successes.
    Read Article >
  • Leadership Styles
    Leadership styles There are many styles of leadership. But the important thing to recognise is that the concept of "leadership", itself, has its own distinctiveness and that "leadership styles" are minor variations on the major theme. It would be an error to focus too hard on the differing variations before you...
    Read Article >
  • The Seven Aims of Leadership Training
    Leadership training must have clear objectives in order to be successful. Training expert Chris Farmer discusses what those key aims should be.
    Read Article >
  • Management Communication Styles
    People can be categorised into different types, depending on the way they put theories into practice. Are you a winner or a dreamer?
    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

9 - 10 October
Online - Teams
£900 +VAT
16 - 17 October
London - Central
£900 +VAT
25 - 26 October
Manchester City
£900 +VAT
15 - 16 November
London - Central
£900 +VAT
More dates and locations available
Save £100 on this course

Next Open Course Starts in 9 days, Online - Teams, places available Book Now >