Why organisations fail!

Before you start wondering and jumping to conclusions; no the title is not a problem statement neither this is an answer to all the stupid and dumb situations that organisations get into these days- intentionally and accidentally either-ways! This is more about learning a simple fact that people are at the foundation and core of what you do (literally whatever you choose to do- whether that’s a hi-tech company that you plan to build or just serve tea around the corner!)

Economic slowdown- well when countries hit the brake (especially when the sabotage is complimented by faulty government policies, needless to say all hell breaks loose!). The next thing that manifests in uncertain business environment is ..well..you have read the script- loss of jobs- closing of companies and lock-outs.When you have a closer look into the space how businesses react- they start with doing away with what is good-to-have (nothing wrong with this) and what gets impacted is majorly are the costs associated with the cost centers (read marketing, internal services like HR, Admin and Finance). The problems get compounded further from this stage as the good-to-have basket is determined through prejudice and nepotistic values rather then rational thinking! This is why when eventually they are out of the storm and the worst is over- often organisations realise there is no leadership that is required to steer the ship full steam ahead! Keeping people in the good-to-have basket is a blunder which organisations commit on an ongoing basis and consequences are always felt in an ongoing manner- no matter what metric you want to evaluate the organisation!

What then starts is a cycle which thrives on incompetence and the ensuing success and failure of an organisation is determined by the level of incompetence displayed by it’s leaders rather then anything else! As long as organisations tend to tie people as commodities rather then individuals who have something to offer through way of unique thinking- these ups and downs will continue and tend to get amplified as they resonate with failing economic policies of the government of the land!

A large network group in the space of marketing communication- The group thrived on mergers and acquisitions on an ongoing basis (to it’s perceived advantage and unintended disadvantage,decisions taken overlooked and gave a damn to the people who are being impacted with the ongoing decisions!) So much so that people whom the decisions usually would impact would be informed about it at the very last hour, something like this, “Hey! from tomorrow you are re-designated as “Chief Entertainment Officer” instead of the “Chief Business Officer” and your new clients are “xyz” and your target is “dollar 123″ and you have three months to get that money else find a place!”

In some cases other short discussions have been like, “You know how its is, the times are tough, we have to take calls, suddenly we have five CEO’s we need only two, so we want to know how you want to plan ahead and want us to communicate about your moving on!” Well in either scenario- the critical aspect that was missing- The rational approach that the HR team could have provided the management with– but as the case was to be- the HR team was totally clueless as this was a “numbers call” wherein the trade off is something like this, “because revenue is “x” we need “y” people and we are now “y+20″, so decide which 20 go!”

As a coach, we never wear a hat that goes on to suggest or indicate one option over the other; the fallacy of our times (which seems to go on increasing) is that incompetent leaders go on to make equally incompetent decisions, using tools that have been chosen (again by incompetent teams) which results into these fast failing scenarios over and over again. The damaging costs to organisation in terms of brand re-building, re-hiring and re-training simply outweigh all spelled out benefits shown by these (incompetent) experts and this cycle keeps on repeating every few years- for some industries and sectors this happens every three years and for a few others it happens once every five years- but this does happen! When these things unfold and resonate with an ongoing national or global slowdown the impacts are unquestionably more damaging and equally difficult to repair with long-term consequences!

By now you are probably saying- ok- so stop all this nagging – do you have a solution! Well the answer is yes and no- yes- there is a solution- simple effective and no- because you will not go ahead and implement- because for implementation of simple and effective solutions, you do not need a blue blood MBA rather you need guts and commonsense to face adversity and stand firmly no matter what to speak and do what is right- to master this bit takes at times- a learning of a lifetime!

Frankly speaking about the simple and effective solution- organisations that thrive on value of an individual and demonstrate rational decision making when it comes to setting up teams, qualifying businesses by planing for tomorrow along with their today a lot of misery can be avoided and is avoided- unfortunately in a corporate era wherein ship captains don’t see a tenure of more then two-three years planing anything fundamentally strong and substantive is a foregone conclusion and unless this bit is corrected from the top- I guess the chaos will continue- the only saving grace will be a few good men and women from the HR teams who are able to pre-empt, avoid and manage chaos as it unfolds giving a human touch and not resigning to the “numbers game”!

I will leave you with your thoughts here and will be back soon with a new piece with a refreshing take on something new! Enjoy your coffee and start learning to tame chaos today!