Over the course of my business career, I've been lucky enough to meet and consult with a wide range of different leaders, and leadership styles. I'm thankful that I get to be the person that these leaders trust and confide in when they have business performance or employee-related issues.
It seems like there are 7 areas all business leaders find themselves dealing with at one time or another. I thought this month I'd share those situations, and how these items could indicate it's time for a change.
1. Lack of Results
Many conversations start with "He/she/they just don't seem to be able to get the job done." I see this in almost every consulting engagement I'm on. This comment is usually directly correlated to their expectations and/or their goal-setting processes.
2. Not a Cultural Fit
None of the meetings I attend start with the question of culture fit, but many of them end with a discussion of culture. Your company has a culture, and without an outside perspective and/or survey, you may not have the culture you THINK you have.
3. Leadership Style
Most of us are not gifted with the leadership abilities of George Patton or Douglas MacArthur. But we can aspire to have people willingly and faithfully follow us to meet our goals and objectives. Many times, after some hard conversations and deep thinking, we find our leadership style, and the style of our management team, could be hindering our business performance.
4. Cost Overruns
Cost overruns are very common in business - especially in Information Technology. If there are many unplanned expenses in your organization, there may also be a lack of competent management. Looking at and acting on the numbers is not hard, but you have to be aware and diligent.
5. Never-Ending Issues
If issues just keep coming up over and over again, you have to ask yourself if anyone is looking at the root cause. Root cause identification is hard and requires work, but problem solving is a science. You should get to the root systematically.
6. The Blame Game
When you hear the individuals in an organization constantly blaming others for failures, you can almost always step back and see that the blamers aren't seeing the whole picture. Or that they don't have the proper training/education to identify what's happening.
7. Employee/Vendor Turnover
If there's a lot of employee and/or vendor turnover, take a hard look at the areas in which turnover is happening. Many times, it turns out to be a management and/or leadership problem.
Whatever the situation may be, the good news is that better outcomes are always possible with the right changes.
Marty Kaufman is Founder and President of Accent Computer Solutions, Inc., a Southern California-based innovator in IT thinking. He got his start in the world of Big Data as Manager of Information Systems for General Dynamics. He earned his B.S. degree in Computer Information Systems from California Polytechnic University, Pomona in 1985 and started Accent Computer Solutions as a consulting firm in 1987. He has spent his entire career researching and implementing Information Technology strategies and processes to help his clients reduce the cost and risk of IT.