It’s summertime and I’m sure you’ve already had your first run in with a swarm of gnats.

English: A female Black Fungus Gnat.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are lots of different types of them and you can almost see clouds of them at time during summer evenings.  You might not realize that business has gnats too and those are our topic today.   We create these business gnats ourselves – they don’t hatch from egg clusters as do the bugs.  I want us to think about why we do so.

Gnats are little bugs and I find them very annoying.  Yes, they’re harmless but they’re unpleasant.  They can also be a distraction – let’s see you read at the beach with a gnat buzzing around you.  Business gnats are the same way.  These are the little problems which serve as distractions from the things we ought to be doing.  Instead of worrying about big questions – what are our business goals and how do we align everything that’s going on in our enterprise with those goals – we focus on little stuff.  How many Facebook “likes” did we get this week and how can we get more?

Making things complicated is akin to creating optimal conditions for hatching gnats.  Yes, I’m an advocate for things like A/B testing to improve conversion rates but only after we’ve dealt with the business fundamentals that make conversions necessary.  Moreover, what are we measuring and why is a much bigger and important issue and the gnats of tweaking our Instagram strategy.

How does one get rid of gnats?  For the flying kind one good thing to do is find their food sources and cut them off from it.  For the business kind doing that is easy – go look in the mirror or around the table at a staff meeting – there’s the food source.  Discourage people from finding little problems – or even worse, making them up – so there aren’t distractions flying around.  Maybe you could hand out fly swatters to everyone in order to remind them to kill the business gnats around them.  Make sense?

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