As an owner or a CEO, you want your people to do well. You also want your organization to do well. You are successful, for the most part, but feel you may be leaving something on the table. You are most likely facing one of three common barriers to success faced by owners.They hinder your success. You may have tried several solutions, but things haven’t changed significantly. Here is why.
What Are These Three Main Issues?
Whether you are an owner, a founder or a CEO, you probably think that in spite of your success, you could do better. The problem is that it is not so easy to actually get to the root cause issues. The temptation, always, is to attack the symptoms. In my experience as the head of organizations, and in the last two decades as a management consultant, I have found that there are three typical root cause issues that hinder organization performance.
1. Not getting your decisions implemented
You’ve made a decision, and you’ve discussed it thoroughly with the team. However, it’s not gaining traction, and it’s not getting implemented in the way you envisioned. It’s frustrating, and you don’t know why it’s happening. In spite of taking corrective action where things go wrong, it keeps happening.
The symptom is the disconnect you see. The root cause issue is that you do not have a clear accountability and authority model for your organization. As a result, people use words that have different meanings to different people. You need to have a model that creates a common language for how work is delegated.
Once you have this model, and use it with your executive, and insist that they use it with their teams, that improved clarity will help every employee to focus on their most important work.
With this in place, when you make decisions, you can be confident that delegation will be clear and appropriate, and everyone in the organization will get the message of what will be different, what it means to them, and the implications for their colleagues.
Learn why accountability is the ‘missing piece’ in many organizations here.
2. Organization silos or the lack of cooperation
People often tend to work within their departments. This is largely because people in organizations cannot count on their colleagues to say what they say they will do. To-day’s organizations are highly interdependent, and yet suffer from work flow issues. At the end of teh day, employees figure it is just easier to do the work themselves. This creates silos where each unit strives to increase resources so it can be more self sufficient. Not a recipe for success!
This ultimately causes problems with processes that go across business units. This often infringes on customer satisfaction as well, as something may go missing from the customer experience or something may not be done the way it should be done. It can be a problem as simple as someone assuming the work gas been done elsewhere when it hasn’t been done. Or two different departments doing the same work, which creates redundancy and customer confusion.
The root cause issue here? It is not ‘teamwork’. Sending people away on team building exercises will not solve this problem.
The root cause issue is also the lack of a clear accountability and authority model for your organization. As important as it is to have a language for delegating work, it is even more important to have a common language that describes how accountability and authority works across the organization.
Here is an article that provides more information on cross functional work.
3. Being unable to get the right managers into the roles
Even though you appoint the best people you can find for the position of manager, over time you realize that they are not doing their managerial work. You send them away on training, you assign them mentors, you coach more if they are an immediate team member. The person seems motivated, eager to learn, trying hard, and still the performance in the unit is dropping off.
That happens more often than you think. Think about the appointment process. When there is a vacancy for the manager of a team, who typically gets appointed to the role? Usually it is the top performing team member that gets promoted. The problem is that while they may have the skills and knowledge of their former role, they do not have the skills and knowledge to do managerial leadership work., In addition, and more critically, they may not have the problem solving capability at the higher order of complexity required for the managerial role.
So what happens? You take your best sales person, or your best technician, or your best mechanic, and promote them to being your worst manager. The managerial leadership skills can be trained. But the problem solving capability is a maturation process. Yes, managers are grown, not made!
Here are the symptoms of a person in a managerial role that is not doing their managerial leadership role. Performance management and coaching meetings are delayed or not held at all. .The manager spends most of their time doing work at the next level down. They are trying to do the work of their team members because that is what they know how to do successfully. Rather, they should be focused on improving processes and eliminating roadblocks, but don’t have that capability.
This pulls you down into the weeds as well, because if the appointed manager isn’t doping their work. You need to move down to that level to do their work. Someone needs to do it! As a result, you end up being unable to focus on your own value-added work. You have to troubleshoot and do the job your manager should be doing.
How to Overcome These Problems?
How do you overcome these problems and raise the quality of the work your organization is doing? How do you get everybody working on the highest level so that everyone ends up being focused on the strategy of the organization and you being able to accomplish as much as you know they can?
At Effective Managers, we focus on helping you solve these root-cause problems so you can get the results you deserve. We work with heads of organizations to help them become even more successful, using research-based, client-proven approaches.