Working Smarter, Not Harder
A division of a large organization asked us to help them achieve a ginormous growth challenge of which they were in their second of a five-year plan. When we asked to review the plans, they showed us a Goal Statement reflecting the doubling of revenue over the five-year period. There was no plan!
We then interviewed a sampling of the employees and the top leadership team to determine what was taking place at present. We found that every individual was apportioned a piece of the growth target and was working very hard, with a lot of overtime and self-inflicted stress to carry their load. A lot of frustration and concern for doing anything more than they were currently undertaking was present.
Apparently, the higher ups were assigning these goals and targets and checking on them daily and weekly to assure attention and focus was being maintained.
Unfortunately, with little to no underlying business processes or structure to assure consistency, effectiveness and efficiency that would bring stability to the work, this pressure from above was causing burnout and turnover.
We first suggested setting priorities for work on a personal basis using the revenue growth targets as the filter for prioritizing importance and urgency. This reduced a lot of low priority work that had been weighing on people. It also required approval from on high to put some of this nonessential work aside for the time being so sales could be the main focus.
We next worked with the executive leader to identify behaviors that would release synergy and leverage performance. Through the modeling and focus on three strategic behaviors the group began working better together, assuming more accountability for problem solving and decision-making, as well as becoming much more focused on actions that resulted in a positive impact on sales.
Things have begun to turn-around and a much more sustainable process for achieving the goal is in place. They are still working on developing the new behavioral habits that will help them leverage performance, although they are building triggers supporting these behaviors into their existing templates, formats, processes and systems.