Saturday, May 26, 2012

Top Down

There is plenty of advice and reinforcement out there about taking control of your career and destiny.  We are all learning that you need to make things happen versus waiting to be tapped on the shoulder for that promotion.

This is translating into unsanctioned meetings among work peers, trying to get things done, solving problems, and changing the work culture.

The problem occurs when this is the only way change happens.
Organizations have superiors/bosses/leaders for a reason: to make decisions and move things forward.

When a leadership or decision-making vacuum exists, and things are moving not forward, employees grow restless and frustrated.  Those ad hoc meetings may come up with solutions, but the final OK often lies up the chain of the command.

Decisions (even wrong ones) and change need to happen on a regular basis.  An organization is either growing and improving or is is contracting and decaying.  Status quo means leaders are failing to own decisions and fearful of putting their stamp on something new.

Yes, we know its up to us to improve our lot in life or to fix something we see needs fixing.  But we also know that a leadership strategy that includes taking the safe road doesn't inspire us nor does it give us a light at the end of the tunnel.  Its tiring, and if its about "grass roots", then what do we need our superiors for?

Corporate culture shaping from the bottom up is a great story, but so is visionary leadership that has us excited to get to work every day.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

How Much More?

In business, more is typically synonymous with better.
Is more always better?

It depends.  Let's not confuse more attention, more focus, and more control with more customers, more products lines, and more expansion. 

A salesperson can chose to have more customers in her portfolio, or to focus on paying more attention to a smaller group of high quality customers.

A product manger can chose to have more product lines in his offering, or chose to the be the best at a smaller offering of products, creating more value for both his customers and his vendors.

A company can chose to expand into every market they see an inkling of competition, diluting its brand and confusing its customers, or it can be comfortable with its core customers and its market share in the service of keeping a more consistent and enduring identity.

In a world where the story of your brand is more important than ever, you need to decide how much more and what kind of more you want.