Weekly I meet top-level managers who vents their frustration with the current modus operandi in one or more of their business verticals
They feel they're locked in to doing things 'the usual way' but when asked about why they don't change the status quo, many argues that this is virtually impossible, that this has worked well for many years now and... and...
The arguments are good and valid, mostly all of them, but reflects - in my world - more a reluctance to actually doing something to change what's needed to be changed
And I feel this is dangerous - does the Board of a company not hire top-managers to run the company to their very best extent? And is it not escaping from that responsibility by not changing what has clearly been identified as inefficient. loss-making or low-performing areas?
Of course I know about the difficulties of initializing the change, as one of the biggest risks is that there's more often than not no turning back once a radical change is initiated - it's a one-way street which always bears an element of risk
But not doing anything can pose an even bigger risk; the risk of running an operation by norms and processes that are inefficient, old and maybe even downright wrong; this can ruin a company faster than most can anticipate, as new - and younger - entrants to the market are operating after the 'new' set of norms and processes, leaving the older company behind in a split-second
So, when top-level managers has identified the need to change, but does not react, are they not just sitting and waiting for the demise of the company they are assigned to run?
What does it take for a manager to initiate a change?
- When a new player in the market already has taken a significant market share from the company
- After most key employees has left the company to work for the competitors
- Once the Board no longer can tolerate annual losses (and in most cases here, the executive manager is the one being changed)
In all these cases, it's (too) late - the company is already behind and in problems
So... what to do? Take a good and hard look at how you're doing things today and do your best to evaluate why you do the things the way you do today (well, I don't even think you need to do this; chances are you already know after reading this blog post)
Big question is; why don't you do anything? Is it 'someone else' who has to do it?
Really? Someone else?