Seven Causes of Poor Company Performance

Over the years that I have worked with companies to improve performance, just about every cause of poor performance can be traced to one or more of the following:

  1. Lack of accountability.
  2. Employees don’t act like owners.
  3. The business strategy and operational focus is unclear.
  4. The organization’s structure gets in the way.
  5. Key skills, capabilities or talent are missing.
  6. Incentives are not aligned.
  7. Weak leadership.

Every one of these causes has a solution — sometimes more than one solution.  But I find that rather than solve the problems, they tend to go on and on until they reach a crisis point.
Are you having difficulty with one of these?  If so, are you taking positive and decisive action to correct it?

© Copyright 2016  Bob Legge

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Bob Legge provides organizations with the ability to exceed their most ambitious goals.  I work with leaders of Fortune 500 companies, small and mid-size companies, nonprofits, education, and government. Together, we drive strategy, lead successful change, develop high performance cultures, improve individual and organizational performance, and produce faster, sustainable growth and value.  Contact him at  bob.legge@leggecompany.com

 

Ten Reasons Why Strategies Fail

  1. There isn’t a strategy.
  2. The strategy is distributed in 3-ring binders, everyone celebrates getting that done and thinks the strategy will implement itself.
  3. The strategy is actually an operations improvement plan—not a strategic view of the future business and how to achieve it.
  4. The strategy is not simply and clearly communicated to the organization, so no one understands it and cannot possibly execute it.
  5. Senior management treats the strategy as so confidential they cannot share it with the organization—who do they think is going to execute it?
  6. The senior team sees strategy as an annual day-long discussion with lunch, and it never becomes part of the day-to-day work and decision-making.
  7. There is no accountability or follow-through, and no plan to deliver the outcomes required by the strategy
  8. The strategy never gets translated into division, function, and individual responsibilities.
  9. Urgent matters trump important/strategic initiatives, so after strategic planning, everyone goes back to fighting fires.
  10. Too many initiatives with conflicting priorities are owned by the same people.

Strategies never fail during planning, but during execution.  After developing the strategy, get clear on how it will be implemented including communication, action steps, accountabilities, and required resources.  Strategy should drive the business, not day-to-day challenges.

© Copyright 2016  Bob Legge

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Bob Legge provides organizations with the ability to exceed their most ambitious goals.  I work with leaders of Fortune 500 companies, small and mid-size companies, nonprofits, education, and government. Together, we drive strategy, lead successful change, develop high performance cultures, improve individual and organizational performance, and produce faster, sustainable growth and value.  Contact him at  bob.legge@leggecompany.com

How to Use Your People Time

Here’s what works:  Divide your workforce into three groups based on their performance:  The top 20%, the middle 70%, and the bottom 10%.  On which group do you spend most of your time?  If you’re like most managers, an inordinate amount of your time is spent addressing the bottom 10%.  That’s not a good return on investment.  Instead, use the same percentages — 20-40% of your time challenging, stimulating and rewarding the top 20%, 50-70% of your time communicating with the middle 70% (including a substantial amount of listening,) and only 10% of your time on the bottom 10% — telling them exactly where they stand, helping them to significantly and quickly improve, or failing that, separating them.

© Copyright 2016  Bob Legge

~~~~~

Bob Legge provides organizations with the ability to exceed their most ambitious goals.  I work with leaders of Fortune 500 companies, small and mid-size companies, nonprofits, education, and government. Together, we drive strategy, lead successful change, develop high performance cultures, improve individual and organizational performance, and produce faster, sustainable growth and value.  Contact him at  bob.legge@leggecompany.com

Improving Management Development

David Ogilve, the advertising guru, once noted that half the money spent on advertising is wasted; the problem being that no one knows which half.  The same could be said of training, although I suspect that perhaps as much as 90% of training is wasted.  And unlike advertising, we can know what training is wasted — it’s the training that doesn’t transfer to the workplace.

Management training in particular is fraught with this anomaly.  Time and again I’ve seen companies spend a lot of money on supervisor training with little to show for it.  Even though all the participants are grateful for the opportunity to attend the training, and they come back with glowing reviews of the instructor and the course, very few of what is taught results in improved performance.

Some years ago a study compared the various ways of developing executives and managers and looked at the resulting improvements in performance.  What they concluded was that the very best development experiences happened when participants worked on real business problems in their own companies.  Not only did they solve real problems, but they also learned a lot, all of which they could use on the job.

The bottom line is that putting people to work on real problems, with the time to do it and some good guidance, will give you a far better return on investment than sending everyone off to the next public seminar.  Think about it.

© Copyright 2016  Bob Legge

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Bob Legge provides organizations with the ability to exceed their most ambitious goals.  I work with leaders of Fortune 500 companies, small and mid-size companies, nonprofits, education, and government. Together, we drive strategy, lead successful change, develop high performance cultures, improve individual and organizational performance, and produce faster, sustainable growth and value.  Contact him at  bob.legge@leggecompany.com