A lot. But a lot of the wrong things. Imagine for a second you’re part of an organization without a clear strategy – for sure the company would have a high-flying vision as they all do, but the vision is not translated into goals, meaning, targets and action plans for the units and employees

So what happens? You’ll hire the wrong people because, frankly, you don’t know what you want them to do – you will probably hire people to solve immediate issues, but chances are that they’ll become redundant after solving these issues because there’s no plans for where you need them then

An effective way to create a solution around the wrong employee issue is to reorganize frequently so that it never becomes apparent that you have the wrong people. But his creates another problem, as frequent change of bosses, job responsibility and maybe even workplace will make sure the employee never really gains any important skills – sure, the employee will be used to adapt fairly quickly and maybe be skilled in taking in knowledge fast while the skills of planning, preparing and executing will not be developed  – but that’s not important, as there’s no strategy for the employee to execute towards

And then there’s the team spirit – or lack of same. It’s impossible for a team leader to create involvement and motivation for anything if there’s no at least medium-term strategy and targets. The team has furthermore become used to the plans changing halfway through anything anyway – you’ll end up with a disengaged team without interest in anything but when the workday ends and they can leave

So what happens next? Well, the team is not performing so the manager loses interest in the team and the vicious circle continues downward and will result in poor performance reviews, no or small raises, and an even more disengaged team. Time for a new reorg ;)

Show me the way out

It’s a very complex situation and luckily my exaggerated example is just that, a provoking thought-process written to make you reflect on the strategies and goals you set for your employees and teams, and whether you work with them enough to have them actively participate in setting the path towards the realization of your goals

If your goals are moving targets, and you feel incapable of creating a medium-term strategy because of frequent changes, begin with the smallest common denominator and examine what you are capable of influencing, be it what direction the tables should face (and I must admit, this can create bigger problems than cascading a group-wide strategy down to the business units :) or how to plan the day today or tomorrow

Spend time reflecting on how you’ve experienced the last weeks, months, years and find areas that doesn’t change that much and begin there. Involve your team in these simple tasks and help them improve whatever they’re doing in these areas. Be there for them and try to be the strong tree in the midst of the storm, so they at least have you as a beacon of stability

Remember, it’s very frustrating for everybody not to have a clear idea of what to do or what your manager is expecting from you. I will guarantee you that this goes for all levels in an organization, from CEO all the way down. If your colleagues are not frustrated, they’re indifferent, which is much worse