Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is considered one of the best espionage novels of all time. The author John Le Carre weaves an intricate thriller with complex twists and turns on roles, accountabilities, and methods that all intertwine for the greater perceived good.Recently I met with a management team to get their input on how they wanted to improve sales performance. There was disagreement on the focal point of the engagement, as well as the methods to get and sustain needed changes to impact performance.
Whether you’re an internal or external resource to a company it is not a stretch to see the correlations with Le Carre’s novel i.e. conflicting agendas, roles, methods, politics, and loyalties associated with helping an organization change and improve performance.
The CEO just wanted it to improve and really didn’t care how it was done. On the other hand the CFO wanted very specific metrics so he could determine the ROI. The VP of HR was focused on the people ramifications of getting the sales team’s involvement and buy off. The Sales Manager wanted new tools and processes for the underachievers without alienating his high performers. And the COO wanted improved communication with operations from the sales side so his people could do their job.
You talk about a riotous confluence of agendas, messages, needs, and compartmentalized perceptions! Actually this would make for a great novel about life in today’s complex business world.
Ok you’re asking what is the point and perhaps even more provocative what is the solution?
The biggest huddle to effect change is balancing expectations and roles:
As an example:
When any organization endeavors to change especially on a systemic level all influential players must be aligned on the, strategies, tactics, and process to achieve desired results.
This dynamic is critical regardless if the change effort is led by an internal champion or an external resource.
Because business leaders are under the gun for immediate results in today’s fast paced market place, they often adapt a “ready fire aim” mentality and rush head long into unchartered waters.
If you are considering effecting a significant change in your organization we highly recommend spending time exploring these issues before kickoff. Give NABC a call at 480-229-7800 for a free assessment of your organization’s readiness to change.
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