Business Problems are Symptoms
Do you have Disengaged Employees? Do you have Cash Flow leaks? Are you seeing Market Share losses? Do you have high Employee Turnover? Are Good Sales People complaining about support and non sales activities? Is Operational Cost increasing faster than revenue? Are you struggling with Accountability? Are Customer Complaints up? Is Inventory age increasing? Are you struggling to identify the right KPIs to measure your business and people? Are certain product sales dropping, while others are on the rise? Is a competitor taking clients? Are you struggling with accurate sales forecast? Are you hearing increased conflicts between Finance, Operations, Sales and Marketing? Do you have problems with Employee Absenteeism? Are Supply Chain, Customer Service and Operations missing customer commitments?
WHAT’s THE CAUSE?
Do you and your organization celebrate problems? Do you welcome team members letting you know about problems? Do any of the above issues sound familiar? Do you know what’s causing them? Have you been spinning wheels in trying to fix them? Does it seem like you keep chasing the issue over and over again? Are people hiding problems from you?
I’ve had bosses that shoot the messenger that brings problems. Even when I brought the solutions with the problems. I’ve seen bosses stay away from problems, because they thought they might stick to them, and even might be contagious. Some bosses so desire to move up in the business, they don’t want to be associated with any problems. One boss told me to never bring them a problem. PERIOD. They were promoted 3 times in 5 years. Seriously. If you are in that environment, you need to be bold, and have some frank discussions.
I’ve had bosses that actually wanted to know every problem. They actually hunted for problems in a very non-threatening manner. They did the hunting with open dialogue and never looked for blame. They celebrated the problem and let everyone know about it. They thought the more folks that knew about it, the better the solution, or fix might be. This created a great team environment. It was a continuously improving environment.
With over 40 years in both environments, customer’s have concluded that the root causes of ALL problems fall into 4 principle areas; PROCESSES-Policies-Procedures, SYSTEMS-Automation, PRODUCT-Sales-Market-Customers and PEOPLE-Employees-Teams-Leadership.
Processes, Policies and Procedures are more important as your company grows, but are often built from good intentions, but are not revised with new systems or people/teams in place. It also inadvertently becomes a carved in stone rule, rather than a guidelines, as it was intended. Was it put in place for cost control, or for the benefit of the employee or customer? Is it still effective?
Has your organization, employees and customers become enslaved to the system? Have the systems created silo’s between departments and teams within your business? Are the systems in your business driving people or is it a tool for them to do their job better and easier? Do employees work for the system, or does the system work for the employees? Are clients telling you the on-line experience is terrible. Are employees constantly complaining about downtime, or the systems caused XYZ?
Product includes Markets, Customers, including competitors. Are your products producing the same value to clients. Is your business differentiating itself from competitors offering similar products? Do you actually solicit feedback from customers and employees about your products and services? Do you make it easy for a customer to complain, and get assistance? Do people have the authority to actually own and correct problems with a customer or product? Does your manufacturer support your commitments to your customer’s, or are you left holding problems even when it is attributable to the manufacturer?
People includes, employees, departments and leadership team. Is everyone aligned on the same goals? Does everyone share the passion of the business and customer? Are people in the right jobs? Do you have job and person mismatched? Are you holding the same accountability for every employee, manager and leader in the business? Are you aligning accountability with responsibilities? Do you believe you fully understand the hearts and desires of every employee within your business? Are the wills and skills of the employee aligned with the job you have them doing today?
I wrote about this in 2015 and it still holds true. Do you want to understand more about how Globulus addresses these areas, see more here? Would you like to speak to someone about your particular business? Please click here to set up time to visit.