.. what would you say?
Strange enough, today we were asked that question without any pre-warning. After a long day of walking along the cliffs, driving through the vineyards near Healdsburg and seeing the magic redwoods, we took a rest at the pool of our hotel, a glass of wine in our hands.
All of a sudden we found ourselves in a lively discussion with the other four guests hanging out (which turned out to be 4 founding partners of a beauty/cosmetic company).
When they found out we were consultants, they immediately started asking questions like: which are the two main mistakes, companies are doing? Being in the US, people expect immediate, confident, convincing and final answers to their questions. Expressing doubts about the question (too generic, why do you ask, what do you mean exactly by “mistake”, what industry, what size, it depends..) or giving it an extensive thought could count for weakness and imcompetence.
So I had to be quick and therefore the answer came right from my heart more than from my mind:
Well, the 2 mistakes companies make, are
- to treat their employees badly in many ways
- to focus on profits instead on customers/their core purpose
As soon as money starts flowing in, companies tend to focus on making even more money, instead on improving their services. And in order to improve their services, they would need to treat their employees well, because they are the ones inventing, producing and delivering the goods/services to their markets.
Instead many companies start reducing quality slowly over time and disregarding their employees as main source of their success. They start to control and mistrust them. Why? Because they are blinded by their own success, anxious to keep what they have achieved and forget where it all came from. So it seems, that 1) financial success is tempting to make the mistakes and 2) leading to performance problems more sooner than later.
That might sound simplistic, but it is not that complicated – just problematic!
Now its your turn: how would you answer that question?
Phil Free I’d say that they forgot that the feelings of their employees are even more important than the balance sheet. In fact it has a great influence on it. Also they forgot that the way their product is produced has an effect on the costumers joice. It becomes more and more important that the parts their product consists of go hand in hand with Mother Nature.
Gabriele Hahn 1. Altes, das nicht mehr funktioniert bewahren zu wollen. 2. Von oben glaubend immer noch regulierend und steuernd eingreifen zu können.
Daniela Philipp wunderschöner Beitrag. Danke. Aus meiner Sicht 1) zu wenig Transparenz in der Kommunikation (wenn Mitarbeiter aus der Zeitung mehr erfahren über ihr Unternehmen als direkt von ihrem Unternehmen) 2) wenn Mitarbeitern zu wenig zugetraut wird
Ursula della Schiava-Winkler aus der Vergangenheit herausagieren statt iteratives Anpassen an die wechselnden Rahmenbedingungen, zuwenig dynamikrobuste Organisationsdesign und Prinzipien
Andreas Krugmann “If you take care of your employees, your employees will take care of your customers and your business will take care of itself” JW Marriot – Meiner Meinung nach die 2 Top Fehler: No communication and transparency of actions top down and thus no commitment bottom up. Wenn das nicht funktioniert, ist es letztlich auch egal, was in den Produkten ist….. .
Hi Karin, thanks a lot for your answer.
ref the quick answer: I wanted to point out the cultural differences that I noticed. And by buying into it, I discovered, that spontaneous questions have a quality of their own, they tend to be more intuitive than logical. So the European way of questioning everything and trying to be perfect can also slow down things without really improving them.. don’t worry, if I don’t try to comply when not comfortable 🙂
I can buy into your answers very well. But, dear Julia, I also have a question to you (… and please don’t get me wrong): why do you even give a sh** about bending to “their” cultural bias? Be confident about what comes to you naturally… you might have gifted them with some very intense dialogue and precious findings of their own.
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An interesting question, and one I could and would not have answered on the spot. I would have given an Austrian answer…
Having read your blog post, my answer would be:
“They forget about their responsibilities.”.
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