Barriers to Performance Improvement – Part Five
This is part five of the five part series about the Barriers to Performance Improvement.
These are all major and common in business and organizations today and will need to be addressed in order to completely turn around our competitive advantage in the global economy.
The Fifth Barrier to Performance Improvement is…
Corporate Cultures’ Invisible Conspiracy
This Barrier is about the dark side of Corporate Culture combining their unique tangles of energy debilitating patterns reinforced by both formalized and informal institutional mechanisms and constraints. The dark side of corporate culture is designed to force everyone – even management – to conform to a set of rules based upon collective beliefs of the best methods to do things.
In my opinion, corporate is the least understood major factor in determining how successful an organization can be. When the culture is all about high performance and attaining new goals every month, the energy levels found with each person in the organization is high. People enjoy going to work, they are seldom tried or bored, and they enjoy each other.This should be the goal of all organizations.
However, I find a number of executives who don’t focus on the design of their corporate culture, in fact, they leave the formation of their culture to chance. What a major mistake on the part of these executives. It is a leaders responsibility to design or create their culture rather than just let it happen. A strong positive culture takes time and focus on the part of all executives to nurture the development.
The sad thing is there are a number of common signals that show up in an organization letting culture form on its own. Learn to recognize these signals and reserve their impact early or the organization will suffer later.
The common signs of the Barrier of Corporate Cultures’ Invisible Conspiracy are…
- Poor Decision Making Processes
Many organizations have no dominant or key person to lead the decision making process. The worst of the lot are the ones putting off major decisions due to potential conflict. Remember the phrase – when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Decisions need to be made in a quick and timely manner, yet, within the boundaries of both the major purpose of the organization and the strategic boundaries set by important strategic objectives. The people need leaders who are guiding the organization on a clear path everyday until the objectives are met. Then new decisions are made for the future.
- Low to No Performance Standards
Once again, this is a biggie for organizations and their leaders. If you want high performance then there must be a high standards of performance established for everyone in the organization. The most frustrated employees I find are the ones who have no idea on the criteria they are being evaluated on. The troubling point here is if there are no standards in place, then there is usually no real evaluation based upon merit being made. There are subjective evaluations or evaluations made upon political or behavioral factors – other than true performance and results.
- Habit of Too Much New
It seems some managers and executives are major multi-taskers and feel that everyone in their organization must be the same way. Therefore, they keep adding new processes, new systems, new people, new org charts, new projects, well, you get the picture – there is too much new and very little to no consistency of process. It is very hard for the team to figure out their role and responsibilities when too much is coming their way. Remember, people learn at different rates – some learn very fast and others take a little longer to figure things out. And, this is no even taking into consideration of people getting demotivated by the rapid rate of change around them. About half the population is natural resistance to change. Slow down, pick the highest value things to change and focus upon outcomes and results.
- Change for Crisis rather than Routine
Again, one of the things we find often in organizations are fast pace people get promoted up the corporate ranks. Due to their fast pace with everything they do, crisis management is their favorite form of management. These are the short term thinkers who have a limited range of futuristic thinking and therefore are in the constant change thing mode of operation. The best leaders are the ones who take a longer look into the future, make a number of decision today to get them to the goal in the future. This form of management or leadership is based upon giving the people the proper direction so they can contribute every day to getting the work done.
There you have the common signals to the Invisible Corporate Culture barrier. Remember, your people need to see where the organization is going and contribute to the development of the plans and processes to get you there. This employee engagement (and guidance) creates the drive for high performance. Help them out with High Standards of Performance, limit the number of new to a manageable yet targeted few, help guide the process with tough decisions centered on the long term goals and vision. The corporate culture will get on board and actually help lead the charge into the future. You can count on it.
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