Take a Shot at Dysfunctional Business
Someone suggests it would be good for two people they know to get to know each other better, so a phone call is made.
Me: Hello, is Mr Someone available please?
Voice: Sorry, they’re busy.
Me: No problem, what is the best time to call?
Voice: Next week might be quieter.
Me: That is busy! He is expecting me to call. Is there another time or may I ask that you give me his email?
Voice: (with exhausted determined monotony). He’s only here on (states days), try again next week on those days.
Meh! No! Don’t think I’ll bother (…and didn’t). Why? Because it’s either a business which doesn’t care what frontline staff are giving out as an impression of the business, or that attitude is the instruction for the frontline to take up. I could have tried again, as per a great philosopher’s advice: “If the person you are talking to doesn’t appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear” (Pooh Bear). If only. No, this is a small business with a frontline approach that affects their bottom line.
Business terrain is as it is, therefore any journey to destination anywhere that gives return is, with few exceptions, a rough one, needing, in an unstable economic climate, a reliable map which gives clear direction. Business seeking out improvement shouldn’t be prevented by misdirection; no matter what the economy. No amount of cost cutting or value will amount to anything, or go anywhere, whilst clarity preventing dead ends are being counterproductive. Facing up to decisions in business means no muffling the sound of singing or limiting dance moves by firmly covering the ostrich head with sand.
Abilene Paradox finds that organisations frequently take actions in contradiction to what they really want to do and therefore defeat the very purposes they are trying to achieve. More prevalent than businesses realise, roughly translated the paradox means that managing agreement is an inability which can be a major source of organisation dysfunction. Being clear prevents misperception, which in turn prevents counterproductive actions; actions which can lead to frustration, irritation or even anger and finally to blame – Tell tale signs of the cyclical paradox which continues unless it’s recognised and intervention made.
Turning back to the great philosopher out on a determined innovative journey, seeking honey with the aid of a blue balloon – Faced with the wrong sort of bees he realised a quick, safe descent was possible if the balloon could be deflated slowly.
Winnie: (to Christopher Robin) Have you got your gun?
CR: Of course I have, but if I do that, it will spoil the balloon.
Winnie: But if you don’t, I shall have to let go, and that would spoil me.
He couldn’t reach the honey, he got shot down and landed in a gorse bush ….but he survived to go on to more adventures. It goes without saying, bad news isn’t welcome, yet optimism with a bullish undercurrent is a positive slant that’s paradoxically as bad because it’s not clear if or what the positive message is. Confronting any ‘actual’ is hard because the ‘actual’ can seem a situation or something which is isolated and/or isolating. Yet, by facing ‘actual’, the risks paradoxically decline because anything else is probable.
Using the bottom line approach gives optimum benefits to businesses, cuts out waste and gives more to which the business will benefit from when seeking an effective reality check; forewarned is indeed forearmed. Don’t give out mixed messages.
(Image credit: Thales Article credit: Copyright SUF)