Only Seconds from Disaster

1 Apr

How far do you think you are you from disaster, with your current management style?

Is it still business as usual for you, everyday? Just applying sound business practices, systems, policy and procedure. All the academically correct stuff you were taught, and have refined to a fine art.

Then you are okay, all you will need is to know how to sharpen the saw, (your mind from time to time) with new knowledge, in order to sharpen the strategy. You also do realise that daily any strategy will require some sort of orientation and drive towards bettering the strategy as it grows. You are set; nothing is in your view that does not look good. Furthermore, this type of thinking is common and general application. This is a good business principle and practice then.

However, how far from the leadership edge are you really moving, are you seconds from disaster, and don’t even know that you are facing imminent collapse just by navigating your mindset like this. No I’m fine; my job is simple grow business, improve operations, and cut costs…

Is it that simple; enhancing the competitive advantage is arguably one of the most commonly used principles in business today? It is headline in all the business articles on how to, what to, and when to get more advantage. We go from analysing our competitive edge, to customer satisfaction, to production outputs, and the list goes on, and on…

However; have we ever considered that what we are really looking for, is right here, we don’t need to solve old problems in new ways, the answer is right in front of us…

No?, it can’t be. We know business it’s never simple, it’s always complex.

Some refer to this dilemma as the leadership trap… mmmm, so what’s n leadership trap?

Well, the principle is that a leader is only as strong as his people, and the people as strong as their weakest link – their culture.

What we seem to forget although we read a lot about it lately: That leaders influence culture directly, or should they? – see the article i am changing culture come hell or high water by Reinier Geel – because culture connects directly with strategy; so much so that it influence every single aspect of it.

Much of what is at the heart of any culture today will not be revealed as rules to follow, in order to belong. It’s not the rules it’s the designation, or the authenticity that make you belong or not.

Culture extends natural boundaries and laws, it has it’s enlighten and dark-side; weak leaders weak culture, strong leaders strong culture, it’s all related like a soup. Every element makes up the total aroma, and taste.

We are only seconds from disaster if we do not look at business as a matrix of interacting segments forming a totality. Systems thinking must now include the sociological approaches and political aspect of culture, as well as cultural influence, to align strategies with it goals and objectives. We can no longer distance ourselves from it. As it impacts; directly, at several levels of organisation – penetrating the paradigms of management and business philosophy deeply. The place where it is felt and observed most is when we start forming, storming, norming, and performing… as management. How we connect the dots… will reveal who we truly are and how this culture works for us or not…

This is the leadership trap; leaders and managers have become trapped in culture, they have to now carefully consider and rethink every element of directives that they give; as it will be infected with culture and politics.

This will not be a problem, or a concern, if the culture is a sterile business one, and free from adverse influence, because of a greater collective awareness, throughout the corporation. Only when we all subscribe to the same ideology, and consciousness, guided by a recognised company doctrine, will we form the required strong business culture. In the absence of any doctrine, the norm will prevail, and set the tone for the company to follow as its culture. This has become the rule rather than the exception.

Is this wise? When we now realise that culture is also significant in all we do, hear, say and speak. We tend to start practicing silo management, in the absence of true business culture that is A-Political. Then we get the norm, then its every leader for him self…when the culture is not on track, and uniform. Then we see moral weakness, worry, uncertainty, and stagnation set it…again, seconds from total collapse, these are the signs of the leadership trap opening up; then corruption and all other evils follow. Unity is strength in all things, divided we fall, united we stand.

Again, culture connects with strategy and structure, because it’s the golden thread that links us to our organisations, and then back to our roots. If there is no solid corporate culture, then we can be sure that personal agendas will dictate culture and these traits will become norm.

Nothing correlates if not for culture; we cannot work together if we do not set aside certain cultural issues, and come to grips with diversity, and enmity ( hate, ill feelings, distrust, suspicion etc)

We are truly second from disaster if we allow the leadership trap to open, and stay open; strategy without implementation, or action, is stimulating, but very unproductive. So too is a diversified co-operate culture…it will just not be able to produce, because diversification, is just that, it renders different ways of doing things in a divers manner- “right”.  We can either subscribe to the one or the other but never to both ways of doing things, and therein lies the crux, of stagnation, and under performance, when we can be seen to be doing the right things, or doing the thing right. I assure you there is a marked difference…

People’s culture can fire up, or kill off, corporate culture. Therefore culture in both forms, become internally inhibiting or empowering attributes of strategy. The aspect of Culture on society and business has become a driver of change and initiative, informing strategy, both positive and negative, culture will and can eat strategy for breakfast, if we can’t control it.

So ask yourself how is your business culture doing?

Now – Read the book or Ebook; Read more in my new book Strategic Management, The Radical Revolutionary Strategic Management Matrix for Predators by Reinier Geel, now available at Trafford;

2 Responses to “Only Seconds from Disaster”


  1. Index of posts on this blog – Strategic Management « Strategic Management - July 2, 2012

    […] Only Seconds from Disaster […]

  2. Strategy without a solid corner stone, sociology – will become a mental stonewall, built with only bias and denial. « Strategic Management - December 10, 2012

    […] Mentally this is the trap, how do you relinquish all we have used and known, for a new way without testing it first. So what do we do, do we jump to a forgone conclusion – a bias, and make a decision, by making a call. It is the other side of the fact-based bias. Where we wait for the facts, get impatient and cut-through it and make a decision. Timing is everything, the mood we are in, the temperature of the room, the smell, scent, set-up  situation, and personality types at play, all play a role, in how we first perceive things, so it’s true;  “first impressions do count”. […]

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