7 common ways businesses are a dollar short and a day late — and how to avoid them

  • Good financial controls/management: Misappropriating funds. Misuse of resources. This happens a lot. Someone’s trusted bookkeeper, who has been with the company for years, was caught skimming. Just today, a board member told me of a director caught renting out organizational resources for personal gain.
  • Good governance or partnership practices: Boards and partnerships (ownership groups) frequently run into problems due to:
  • Ambiguously defined roles, responsibilities, and expectations.
  • Poorly designed decision-making processes.
  • Active business development: Many organizations ride a roller coaster financially. This is often due to backing off on business development (marketing, sales, etc.) when times are good or when it gets busy. Depending on your industry, there is often a time lag between business development activities and when revenues are realized. It is easy for leaders to get so busy doing work that they forget to keep generating new work.
  • Foreseeing/Adapting to change: Some changes happen to you and around you. Learn to look for and anticipate economic, regulatory, technological, demographic, or market shifts in the customer interests. Too many leaders are too enamored with past success (or challenges) or too busy with today’s work to take the time to see and prepare for what is likely to come. This keeps them in a perpetually reactive mode. Sears, RadioShack, Blockbuster, etc. all refused to read the weather until it was too late.
  • Quality /Ethics/Safety policies: Quality, ethics, and safety are arguably areas where the greatest damage to your organization will happen. In spite of this, many organizations (especially if they aren’t regulated or accountable to someone) tend to be very lax about developing or practicing these policies. This oversight is common and commonly produces dramatically negative consequences.
  • Building your bench : The single biggest bottleneck for growth is not having the right management or technical expertise when you need it. These are usually people you can’t just hire on demand. And even if you could, there is often a lengthy onboarding/ramping up process.
  • Executive succession planning*: Executive succession planning is often delayed for too long. When it is undertaken, it often underestimates the organizational dynamics associated with succession. As a result, fully two-thirds of executive successions fail for roughly 99% of all organizations. Failure often looks like regret, underperformance, conflict, or a shorter than expected tenure, and not a fantastic explosion. Because of this, most leaders don’t realize the core issue was the succession preparation process. Not the person that was hired.

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Christian Muntean

Christian Muntean

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I help successful leaders and teams dramatically improve their performance. Guaranteed.