Crisis mis-management truth or paradox?
This is the result of a management style that fails to consider a variety of forces at work in organizations today. Many executives and managers that I have interviewed during may career seem to have had a romantic love affair with this style of decision making, delegation, policy making and utilization of corporate resources. They seem almost proud, that this is the way they run their organizations.
I will grant you that in today’s changing business climate, it is critical that managers and their organizations remain flexible, poised to react and ready to change course with limited knowledge or advance planning. In order to remain competitive it is vital that companies shed old baggage quickly and effectively. This old baggage can be an outdated product, service, policy, procedure, employee or anything that stands in the way of effective progress. Too often progress, and the need to grow or expand, is blamed for any number of knee jerk reactions and unplanned strategic actions.
The purpose of this message is to help you determine if your predominant management style is – crisis mis-management oriented and to become more aware of the ultimate costs of this approach to running your organization, department, division or group.
I’ll bet, however, that most of you already know. If you would like a free copy of my Crisis Mis-Management Questionnaire give me a call and I’ll be glad to E-Mail it to you. (It will help you focus in on those areas where you might want to consider modification in your management style, if you feel crisis management is stealing from your bottom line or competitive posture in the marketplace.) The causes or contributors to a crisis management philosophy or business culture are:
Before you begin please keep one thing in mind. Strategy is the – what – in your organization and operational effectiveness is the – how. It makes no sense to be operationally effective while moving in the wrong direction. The last thing you need to do is to get where you don’t want to be more effectively.
O.K. The following is a list of behaviors, attitudes, actions or philosophies of crisis mis-management organizations.
One: A heavy top-down corporate culture when it comes to information flow.
Two: Organizations where everyone consistently has too much on their plate.
Three: Senior management or ownership that has their ego too vested in outcomes.
Four: Poor communication throughout the organization.
Five: High turnover at the mid and lower levels in the organization.
Six: Poor employee morale.
Seven: Organizations that have excessive politics throughout.
Eight: Organizations that are more concerned with who rather than what.
Nine: Organizations that reward incompetence rather than performance.
Ten: A lack of confidence, skill or experience on the part of managers and executives.
Twelve: Unclear and/or poorly communicated goals, objectives and corporate direction.
Fourteen: Employees and/or managers that are insecure or lack a positive self-image.
Sixteen: A lack of accountability or organization discipline.
I am sure there are others but I am confident you get the point. The following twenty items can be summarized into just 5 major contributors. Ego, ignorance, arrogance, politics and communication style. The symptoms of crisis management are as follows:
One, you have to be in the right place at the right time to know what is going on.
Two, you are consistently solving the same problems over and over again.
Three, inconsistent customer satisfaction.
Four, low morale.
Five, excessive turnover.
Six, lots of things fall through the cracks i.e. money, decisions, people, resources etc.
Seven, a “here we go again culture”.
Eight, lots of “we and they”.
Nine, highly stressed employees.
Ten, lots of meetings, long useless meetings.
Eleven, unjustified, increasing costs of doing business.
Twelve, increased vulnerability to competition and market shifts or trends.
Thirteen, lost customers.
Fourteen, antagonistic suppliers or vendors.
Fifteen, frustrated dissatisfied dealers, distributors or franchisees.
Sixteen, lots of last minute decisions.
Seventeen, increased hidden agendas.
Eighteen, burned out or highly stressed employees.
Nineteen, increased unjustified costs of doing business.
Twenty, poor communication throughout the organization.
Well, there are the symptoms and causes. What can you do to improve the performance of your organization if you believe that crisis management is your standard operating style? Call me.
About the Author
Tim Connor, CSP is an internationally renowned sales, management and leadership speaker, trainer and best selling author. Since 1981 he has given over 3500 presentations in 21 countries on a variety of sales, management, leadership and relationship topics. He is the best selling author of over 60 books including; Soft Sell, That’s Life, Peace Of Mind, 91 Challenges Managers Face Today and Your First Year In Sales. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 704-895-1230 or visit his website at www.timconnor.com.