Eight Stupid Things Managers Do To Mess Up Their Companies

Excellent comment by Matthew E. Way:

“In a business climate where only the best companies survive and thrive, one thing is clear: you must avoid the stupid stuff. You must eliminate the things that leave customers and employees scratching their heads, frustrated and mystified. According to Smith, the following eight things are the typical barriers to desirable attributes of growth, efficiency, simplicity, and profitability.
  1. Avoiding Controversy. Controversial ideas exist and are left unresolved because dealing with them would cause too much disruption. Politics, personalities, alliances and appearances all contribute to making ideas controversial.
  2. Using Time Poorly. Even in organizations where people are very busy and long days are the norm, employees use their time very badly. There are three aspects to this barrier: the lack of time, the use of time and the value of time.
  3. Resisting Change. The most human and pervasive of the eight barriers, this involves resisting the impulse to remain creatures of habit and complacency. People fear change because it is about the unknown.
  4. Erecting Organizational Silos. These silos, or departments, within an company are necessary evils, providing structure and accountability, but at the same time preventing the flow of information, focus, and control outward.
  5. Committing Ideacide. Many good ideas are shot down not for perceived lack of merit but because a manager feels threatened by the idea in some way. Employees are generally powerless in these situations. The result? Employees are frustrated and good ideas are never put to the test.
  6. Making Decisions on Bad Data and Assumptions. Information can be incorrect, outdated, or difficult to obtain. Assumptions are made when data doesn’t exist or hasn’t been calculated. Decisions made using bad assumptions or incorrect information will always yield poor results.
  7. Ignoring Size, Scale, and Scope. A great challenge for many companies is managing the economies related to smaller and less profitable customers or transactions. Companies ignore or don’t think about the potential impact of even simple size-based changes in the way they conduct business.
  8. Ignoring Process. Existing processes can prevent great ideas from being implemented even if people are advocating for change. The problem is that there is no process to change processes. The issues that need to be solved often aren’t complex, but resolving them without a process in place to do so can be very complex.

Smith says that he’s never worked with a company that didn’t have all eight barriers present. Which raises the obvious question: Why is that?”




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