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Wouldn’t it be nice if you could plug your sluggish organization into a rapid charge machine?

Poof!

Rapid charge!

Rapid change!

Rapid improvement in productivity!

Rapid reduction of inventory!

Rapid organizational improvement!

Rapid improvement in sales!

Rapidly – almost instantly, your business problems disappear!

Too many struggling organizations are looking for this machine – too bad it does not exist.  Here are 5 reasons short-term, tactical, rapid/instant charges and instant changes are not the solution to business problems:

1.  Rapid charges and instant changes do not work on people. Humans are too emotional and usually too attached to status quo thinking and behaviors.  Simply put, you can’t plug a person into a machine for 30 minutes (or 3 days at a retreat or 3 weeks at a training workshop) and expect them to emerge recharged and ready to go!

2.  Rapid charges and instant changes don’t work well with systems.  Chances are a rapid charge in one part of your organization will cause conflict with other parts of your organization.

Here’s an example:  Sales are sluggish so the VP of Sales at corporate decides to have a big sales push to increase sales (drop everything sellers are doing + all hands on deck + drop price + bundle inventory + special commission incentive).  If a tactical idea like this is developed without the involvement of others (finance, production, fulfillment, HR) the likelihood of implementation without conflict is slim.  By the way, implementation with conflict = little to no sales increase.

3.  Rapid charges and instant changes only last a while.  Sooner or later another rapid charge or instant change will be needed.

4.  Rapid charges take time.  If you add up all the time invested in rapid charges you could have solved the real problem facing your organization in the same amount of time (possibly less time).

5.  Rapid charges cost money.  If you add up all the money invested in rapid charges you could have solved the real problem facing your organization for the same amount of money (possibly less money).

There is another way, a better way.  It involves strategic problem solving.  This process is not rapid or instant; however, it is pretty darn quick and not extremely expensive.

The first step in the process is defining the real problem:  A constraint that touches many parts of the organization.  Here’s a hint: If sales are sluggish your real probleminvolves many parts of your organization (production, fulfillment, HR, IT, finance — maybe others).

Is your organization sluggish and running in the slow lane?  Are you caught in the trap of implementing a rapid charge and instant change?

Kurt Sima is a VP/Sr. Consultant at the Center for Sales Strategy

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7 Responses to 5 Reasons Short-term, Tactical Charges are Not the Answer to Solving Business Problems

  1. Crawford says:

    A properly identified and well defined strategic challenge is the difficult part of the change process….many professionals have no idea how to start this process and stay on track…..my belief is thet rapid or instant change as you call it here is a result of bad problem identification and no understanding of process to help them re-engineer it to reach desired goals.

  2. Paul Talbot says:

    In the context of demonstrating the discipline to follow a thoughtful strategic plan, absolutely.

    But…

    In some situations, rapid change is essential.

    Consider travel industry pricing, or online marketing optimizing a campaign based on Google Analytics data.

    Perhaps rapid change works best when it is anticipated, and a strategic plan is in place to allow for its best possible execution.

  3. Dan E. says:

    Well written Kurt. I can identify w/ #2. The smaller the ship, the easier it is to turn…I like to use this analogy.

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