Is work place complancy an emplolyee illness or a symptom?
by jeffdberg, Performer
- Created: July 23, 2011, 1:56 am
- Updated: July 23, 2011, 1:56 am
How infectious is it and can it be treated?I have spent most of my career working with both large and small businesses and at the top of the list of reasons for failure was complacency. It did not matter if it was being subjected to new ideas or innovations or employees taking on a new task, training or having to deal with one more issue.
I know that we as humans are resistant to change however; left unchecked complacency becomes an infectious illness which can infect the whole business model. Soon your employees start to feel the symptoms internally and your cutomers began to see the symptoms externally. As with any sick person they become harder and harder to deal with. Soon others began to shy away as no one wants to become infected themself. Just like when we are sick, we make excuses why we sould be at work or why others do not need to avoid us, so is the case within an infected business enviorment. We make excuses and attempt to convence eveyone else we are not ill. We are not lazy or complacent , we are just busy. "Can't everyone see that?"
The next thing we know we are flat on our backs watching as someone else takes the business we took for granted. In the mid 2000's one of the Big three automakers was on track for their 100th anniversary of being #1 in auto sales. One executive recalls a conference call with the President of his division going something like this; " We are number one and have been for 100 yrs. Their is no way Toyota is going to take that spot. We are not the least bit worried about it. We have been hearing that for 100 yrs. and this is nothing new. We have been number one for a hundred years and we will be number one for another 100 years!"
For their 100th Anniversary they were awarded the #2 spot. A few years latter they were part of one of the biggest bailouts in history while Toyota continued along making profits.
Some could argue that unfair trade was the cause. I tend to disagree as the conference call indicates. Many could see the symptoms longs before the illness took hold. Many refused to admit there was a problem at all. All the signs were there even to those not looking or not wanting to see.
When I asked the Big 3 Execuitive what could have been done to prevent it he replied, " By the time we realized how out of control it was it was to late. You have to be willing to look for the bad every day. The good will take care of itself. You can't do it alone. You have to take steps that no one becomes infected. The second you do it will grow and grow until it kills the business from the inside out."
I am sure I did not realy this as well as he did however; I maybe I got the my point across.
While this was a Fortune 5 company no company is immune. We have all seen it. The person who is rude, dosn't care, never excited or the last thing on their mind is being ready to make a break through that will innovate or move the company forward. When they are approached to take on a new task they grumbel, make excuses or take on some other symptom of conplacency. Soon they have infected the entire company running from one dislike to another spreading their ill will, lack of concern with exception to their own adenda, and only smill or give time to those who they can gain from. A vendor calles and they quickly tell them good bye almost slamming the phone down. A candidate calls instead of sending in the resume directely and quick draw the infections desease is on the move! As do many deseases it lies dormant until it can attach itself to just the right health portion of the body. Then when it masks itself and slips through looking like the rest it attacks, going right for the vital organs of the whole body.
What started as one person or one department's condoned complacency grew into a deadly company culture and business killer.
Does your company take steps to ensure your do not become infected? If so, what are those steps? How effective are they? How do you measure those results?
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