You know the saying that someone “can’t see the forest for the trees?” It’s true and here at PAG we see it all too often, as in every single day. There are those who are overwhelmed by the day-to-day they cannot elevate themselves above the fray and see the bigger picture; even executive management is not immune to it. We often encounter C Level Executives (and their staff) who have “silo vision,” preventing them from being able to see across the enterprise. Many times, however, this blindness is the result of the corporate culture and not just a byproduct of being too busy. Whatever the root cause, being oblivious to the obvious is not only counterintuitive, it is costly – very costly.
Great Management is the Key to Success
Not too surprisingly, these types of companies are often the very same ones fostering a stodgy, throwback management style. You know them, they of the mentality that “the beatings will continue until morale improves.” These iron-fisted, fear-mongering managers from days gone by evoke dread and horror in the hearts of their employees. They coined the term “management by intimidation,” and they cling ferociously to their Machiavellian style – even though it hinders the progress they so desperately desire.
Modern thought dictates that there are two management styles: Proactive (new age) and Reactive (old school).
Proactive management lives and breathes the model of “we focus on our core mission and everything else is just a necessary evil.” This makes them very open to outsourcing as many of the “other” things as they can. This outsourcing can be through VAR’s, Contractors, Consultants or many others who are subject matter experts (SMEs) whose core mission is the very thing that is superfluous to their client. Employees who find such outside help are praised and even rewarded for bringing in these solution providers.
Of course, reactive management leads employees in the opposite direction. They are in fear of losing their jobs! Reactive management punishes “those responsible” if an outside specialist is brought in and finds ways to boost profits or streamline processes. This knowledge of the pending retribution prevents change and keeps any SMEs locked out of the very same companies where change and modernization would have the biggest impact! Talk about counterintuitive.
Let’s face it, we live in the era where less is more and we are always going to have to wear multiple hats. But if you are on a management team who is expecting your staff to wear a fedora when their mission is to play a football game, then you are not only ill-equipping your employees, you are going to have a sorry football team. Get with the times. Focus on your mission and core competencies. Change your stance and opinion that you and your people can do everything as well as anyone else can. Embrace outside help and grow from the synergies that are possible when you form a collective consisting of experts. Out with the old, in with the new. Your people (and your shareholders) will thank you.