Why management can be like a game of chicken!
Management is often like a game of chicken, you have to know when to flinch. Move too quickly and you look wishy-washy and undisciplined. Move too slowly and you end up in a wreck.
Most organizations slave away during Q4, delicately balancing ongoing activities and yearly planning. The new year starts, and they hit the ground running excited about the prospects of success. Yet, sometimes, several months down the road they find that things haven’t exactly gone as planned. Suddenly they are in that age-old dilemma, keep going or try something different.
One quick response is often to assign blame and fire someone. This can have a positive impact as it sends a very direct message to the entire organization things aren’t “Ok”. For some teams just seeing the poor results don’t have the same impact as when someone loses their job.
Another idea is to abandon all current plans and improvise. “We see this market isn’t progressing as we thought. So, let’s drop it like a hot potato, find another prospective market and ramp up the infrastructure we need as quickly as humanly possible.”
And yet a different track is shoring up operational issues which truly might be hampering success. “We believe this market is ripe for our product and we just have to deliver better.” Yes, many great idea and companies have failed over poor execution.
And finally, there’s always the type that just “believes” this is the right plan and things will eventually fall into place.
As a manager, there’s always something which isn’t working as well as you’d like. You need to act and act decisively, but just like in chicken, not overact and flinch too quickly before you’ve given something a fair shot.