8 clear signs something’s wrong in your business (and it’s not just the numbers!)

1. Bad behaviour, when displayed openly, is not visibly confronted.

This means other members of the organisation have no idea whether any substantial corrective action is being taken. If behaviour doesn’t improve with the individual in question then some may assume the behaviour is considered an acceptable way to deliver results. Bad behaviour, when displayed openly, needs to be confronted clearly and respectfully when it occurs so there is no question surrounding acceptable behaviour. It’s fine to follow-up in private later.

2. Compensation, incentives and/or promotions are based on results, not results AND behaviour.

Results at any cost could become the norm if behaviour is not a priority and evaluated based on feedback from others. Just one leader showing unacceptable behaviour can have a severe and negative impact on many individuals.

3. “Explosions” are evident periodically from one or more top leaders.

This is not about a passionate call to action from a top leader. This refers to negative, critical explosions that do not motivate unless it’s purely out of fear. Leaders need to work very hard to build trust but a negative explosion destroys trust and raises fear and may raise doubts or second thoughts in people about taking action.

4. Pre-meetings are the norm.

This behaviour is often rampant in many organisations large and small. Presentations, proposals, new ideas and other subjects must be reviewed with lower levels, senior managers or other groups before a meeting with top leaders. The focus can end up being on what a leader wants to hear versus what they need to hear.

5. Communication is poor or one-way.

Leaders often underestimate the importance of communication or they neglect to design communication sessions to build trust and open two-way communication. Q&A may take place but result in “planted” questions instead of surfacing drama, rumours, fears and areas where there is a lack of clarity.

6. Email is used to cover your rear or is not proactively used.

It may be common to reply to all or copy countless people to make sure everyone is in the loop. On the other hand, Emails that need to be sent or should involve copying individuals at a higher level or other personnel are not sent due to fear or concern about how they will react.

7. A general lack of clarity and alignment about managing work.

The lack of clarity and alignment around strategies, priorities, goals, measures and supporting expected values / behaviours drives uncertainty and “fear” at some level. This fear causes hesitation and holds back proactive action. A sign of an effective, unstoppable culture is that “people act on what they know” instead of having second thoughts, hesitation, and fears about action.

8. Values and expected behaviours are not specifically defined and reinforced.

Values may be defined on the website or poster on the wall, but they haven’t been translated to expected behaviours so they are not consistently interpreted. Systems for hiring, inducting, managing, developing, communicating and motivating are not designed or implemented in a way that specifically reinforces the values and expected behaviours.

These behaviours negatively impact on all areas of the business – hard and soft – sales suffer, marketing initiatives fail to produce the expected results, customer service levels decline, margins are squeezed, operational excellence dips, team spirit is wrecked, uncertainty about abounds etc.

The organisations we’ve helped to address some or all of the signs that something is wrong have posted the following improvements in results in the last year or so:

  • “We’ve seen a £30 million increase in our bottom line this year – well ahead of target.” – 1,300 person manufacturing organisation
  • “Sales are up 50% on last year – and our unit GP has been maintained … we’ve smashed our targets.” – 95 person financial services organisation
  • “The working environment has changed beyond belief. It’s now positive and dynamic – and a high-performance ‘unstoppable’ culture has taken root. Every dial on our KPI ‘dashboard’ is moving in the right direction at quite a pace!” – 10,500 person retail organisation

If you’d like similar improvements in 2015 … GUARANTEED … please let us help. Let’s start with a no-obligation, strictly private and confidential chat about your business, its challenges and opportunities with one of our world-renowned consultants … at no cost to you!

Thirty minutes is all we need … and we’ll give you a ‘ball park’ of the improvements that are at your fingertips.

Come on … what are you waiting for? Make 2015 the year you start grinding out good results and start generating explosive performance transformations, top-to-bottom!

You’ll be so glad you did.

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