I was having dinner the other day with a great leader of an organisation who, with his function, is pulling in around £170M worth of revenue per year and delivering around £30M profit per year for the organisation; yet he couldn't order extra onion rings with his meal as it was outside the company expense policy.
How crazy is that!
I'm sure you can think of crazy rules and policies in your organisation too. (Message me and let me know what they are!)
So many organisations have a deadly virus running through them. Crippling them and preventing a high performance culture. A deadly virus that is killing them.
Many organisations are what I call over managed and under led.
So how do they catch this deadly virus? How does a successful organisation end up in a slow (sometimes very quick) death?
Here's how it all starts...
Stage 1: Some combination of visionary entrepreneurship and/or luck creates and implements a successful business strategy.
Stage 2: A fairly dominant position (and thus lack of strong competition) is established in some market or markets – usually a product or service market, perhaps also financial, labour, or supply markets.
Stage 3: The firm experiences much success in terms of growth and profits.
The firm needs, hires and promotes managers, not leaders, to cope with the growing bureaucracy.
Which leads to...
Top managers allowing these people, not leaders, to become executives. Some times top management actively prevents leaders from becoming senior executives.
The pressures on managers come mostly from inside the firm. Building and staffing a bureaucracy that can cope with growth is the biggest challenge. External constituencies are neglected.
Managers begin to believe that they are the best and that their idiosyncratic traditions are superior. They become more and more arrogant. Top management does nothing to stop this trend and often exacerbates it.
This leads to...
A strong and arrogant culture developing.
Managers fail to acknowledge the value of customers and stockholders. They behave in an insular, sometimes political fashion.
Managers fail to acknowledge the value of leadership and the employees at all levels who can provide it. They tend to stifle initiative and innovation. They behave in centralised/bureaucratic ways.
This leads to..
A major crisis!!!
Like in the banking sector in 2008. Like organisations failing such as Kodak, Nokia, BHS, Maplin, Toys R Us, Blockbuster, Borders, HMV and Jessops... the list goes on.
Others struggle and just about carry on by the skin of their teeth. The weather might improve, so sales go up and they are 'awesome' again. Nothing has really changed internally, they just got lucky and survived another year or so.
In times of change we need great leaders and great mangers, not just average managers who control everything and think they are better than they really are!
Has your organisation caught the virus? What are you doing to protect yourselves?
Healthy organisations are developing and breading a new type of leader and manager. They are creating leaders who can create a high performance environment where success is inevitable.
Contact me to find out more...
ps Share your crazy rules and policies in the comments...