DailyPost 389


Whether we are familiar with this word or not is immaterial, most of responses these days are to mitigate only the symptomatic issues of any problems.  ”Symptomatic treatment is any medical therapy of a disease that only affects its symptoms, not its cause, i.e., it’s aetiology.”  The usage of this term over the years has become generic. In simple language it is a superficial approach to handing an issue and also its resolution.  Root cause analysis and its treatment is the exact opposite of it.  Alas, this approach is too demanding for the problem managers of the day.  We live in a quick fix world.

The beauty of the symptomatic approach is that it  gives a feeling that the problem has been fixed,  till the time it’s erupts again with double vigour. So many times it remains  simmering and slowly extending  over the whole systems as we find in our educational and lots of other systems. If few institutions of a system get into this mode, others follow suit as it is easy.  It spreads across the system  and slowly it becomes the predominant ecosystem.

The opposite of this approach is finding a  long term solution,  if not a final and permanent one. In the  world of fast gratification, this approach does not find favour with most of the crowd , which is out make the best as long as the sun shines. The genesis of the   porous world of cyber security  can be traced back to this approach. Might be the  present ailment of parenting  also falls in the same category. Slowly, it spreads across sectors & communities.

 Approach to problem solving is a mindset issue permeating through the system.  Having landed in the symptomatic mode, we have to find ways and means to get out of it. It does not augur well for individuals, families, enterprises, communities and the nation at the end.  A root cause analysis and treatment approach and its meticulous practice can only take us out of this morass . Sooner than later we have to break out of it to put the system back on its rails,  battling out with issues with an urge, conviction, focus & effort to find sustainable solutions.


 Sanjay Sahay

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