Since the recession of 2008, many companies have been operating lean — keeping the “do more with less” philosophy alive. While this seems like an effective way to maximize productivity while minimizing expenses, it has a harmful side effect.
At the VX Group, we believe many companies – especially mature ones — are now seeing org chart disintegration – as people in traditional leadership roles are now devoting more time to short-term tasks and less time on long-term growth planning.
For example, let’s say a company’s VP of sales starts out with the best of intentions to manage a high performing sales organization. But those good intentions only go so far, because over time their job deteriorates down to being consumed by helping their sales people think about short-term pricing, operations, customer and quality issues, and so on.
In this world of “more with less” we’ve created, everybody feels they can, and need, to do everything themselves, which takes them down a level.
Activity is the illusion of accomplishment. Next thing you know, you’re in the tactical world, and not focused on building the future of your business.
What can this new devotion to short-term planning do to a company?
- Long-term growth stalls
- Stuttered new market development
- Job satisfaction wanes
- Turnover increases
- Less concentration on top-line revenue
- Sales staff becomes customer support
- Very little strategic planning
To succeed you have to do two things at once: Manage the current business, and set direction and align for the future. No matter what you do, you’ll never be totally in ‘set direction and align for the future,’ but you can end up totally in ‘manage the current business,’ and once the balance is off it’s hard to realign your priorities.
The lesson here is that if your company wants to have a future, leaders have to devote more time thinking about and planning for it.