Times of diminished product demand are a test of management and leadership prowess. The sustainability of a business relies on both identifying new market opportunities and establishing a cost structure that maintains liquidity. Too often, urgency and a distorted sense of time scarcity create an opposing duality that Chinese Zen Buddhists called Yin and Yang. Organizations often view consideration and planning in direct opposition to initiative and action. Yet in business, the two are inseparable.
A mistake that management teams can make is to not scale the investment in planning to the investment in capital and labor. Sometimes “the plan” need be no more than checking a project’s alignment with longer-term strategy, quantifying both the reward of success and consequence of failure, and identifying possible obstacles. The essential, and often forgotten, step is communicating the plan to the organization and listening for feedback. The costs of overlooking a plan are large:
- A lack of coordination leading to project failure
- Breakdown in trust and communication between individuals and departments
- Loss of leadership credibility and employee engagement
- Frequent changes in direction threaten the core business and lead to employee burnout
- Stiffened organizational resistance to future change
Repairing the damage from poor planning can entail restatement of organizational goals, mediation of grievances between management and employees, and stronger focus on teambuilding and enforcing values. Speak to me if you would like more information.