Hope Is Not A Strategy

Too often, executives fail to take action when it is clear that action is what is needed. Hope is not a strategy!

    • If you’ve got a problem employee, you’ve got to deal with it and either get them well or get them out of your organization.
    • If you’ve invested in an IT system and you’re not getting a sufficient return on your investment, you’ve got to take action. It often isn’t the system as much as the IT system not been properly integrated with your people and your business process. The IT system isn’t the process (contrary to what the sales folks said). Microsoft Word can be used to write an effective sales letter but it isn’t the reason the letter is effective. Microsoft Word is just a tool—a minor part of the solution. The same is true for all software.
    • If you’re losing market share, you’ve got to find out why and quickly take action.
    • If you’re losing employees to your competition, you need to find out why and take action to stem the exodus.
    • If you’re company is continually late delivering customer orders or not getting orders right the first time, you’ve got to take action.
    • If you’re inventory levels are growing while sales are declining, you’ve got to take decisive action.
    • If you can’t turn around customer warranty repairs in a timely manner, you’ve got a problem that will irritate your customers— you’ve got to take action to correct the problem.
    • If your customers won’t pay within your payment terms because your products don’t work, weren’t delivered or installed properly, you’ve got a problem that is consuming cash and undermining relationships with your customers. Urgent action is needed.
    • If you’re company is more dependent on people than processes that your people follow, you’ve got a huge problem that will undermine your ability to grow and to be agile. People dependency creates a sense of entitlement. You’ve got to take action to correct this.
    • If there is an enthusiasm gap between what your customers expect from you and what they experience, you must identify the issues that contribute to the enthusiasm gap or risk opening the door to a leaner, more agile, more willing and able competitor. You must identify and run these issues to the ground.

When the fish in the refrigerator doesn’t smell so good, you don’t put it back in the refrigerator and check it in a few days to see if it has gotten better. It hasn’t. Hope is not a strategy! Be proactive about addressing the known issues in your business.

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2012 Dave Gardner All Rights Reserved

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