Jump in the deep end but make sure you can swim…
How many times have you or one of your workers been motivated to do something in your business, and when you have jumped in the deep end you have found yourself drowning. What looked like a great idea had a range of pitfalls that you did not know existed.
For many this is too often the case and so they err on the side of caution. In a fast paced business environment it is important to be well focussed and have a clear idea of what is taking place, yet there will also be times when you need to Do IT Now! Otherwise opportunity may not pass your way again.
The trick to surviving this situation is in being prepared and having the resources to make it work the first time. However this can be very unpredictable at the best of times. If you knew in advance tat you needed to act quickly on an upcoming item you might plan for it in advance and get a better result. Although often people do say that they could not have had a better result if they had planned for it.
Your sales team have been working on a deal with a large organisation for some time, at first they thought that it would take off, and they would get the deal fast, but it soon died down. Now that the team has kept in touch but has taken its focus off the organisation they decide with very short notice that they will buy your products, they place a big order that will take some time to fill but they want it now! Your advisers in the past have warned against holding too much stock but now you wish you did.
So what do you do now?
In many cases organisations go into crisis management mode, where they cannot make a reasoned decision based on the confusion created in their heads when they are in crisis. They take a stab in the dark and manage to bury themselves further rather than taking the time to plan things out. Imagine if your sales crew had landed you in this predicament, possibly one of the first options is to put your staff on to overtime to manufacture the items required, under pressure they may well churn out poorer quality than required. Taking a do it now approach did not get the team anywhere in this case, yet it could have.
They failed (in this case) to take the time to plan things out. For example, they could have said, yes to the new client, and added a proviso. They could have stated the terms, we will provide x number of units with x to be delivered on a certain date, (one that the production coordinator could handle comfortably.) They could have managed their sales staff can still have a can do – or a do it now attitude however the whole of the team needs to be aware of what is going on. If a big order is in the wings other planning could have still retained the do it now power, yet giving them the safety margin they require in production.
Many organisations that go into a ‘flat spin’ when something like this happens fail to handle it well. No contingency plans are in place and often what may have looked efficient at the time has now become ineffective. These two need to be balanced very carefully.
Often staff attrition is due to an organisations inability to handle a disaster and they leave for greener pastures.
Hindsight comes just after you have learnt the hard way in all cases, however effective planning could overcome many of the difficulties that may arise. It can be too easy for a sales staff member to say we can do to a potential client, but then have to panic when the rest of the team says impossible. Avoid these situations by having open lines of communication at all levels so that situations can be managed better in the future.
Keeping your eye on the ball is a hard act sometimes when the fast pace of business kicks in, often your team can end up in the deep end, just by following the currents of business, too many can drown unless they have been taught to swim. Communication development does this perfectly.
The ‘Gung Ho’ Do It Now! Person can be a great asset to an organisation but in some instances can cause problems like our illustration if they are unsure of what the other hand is doing.