Generally, most organizations' approaches to management can be divided into two camps: the ones who consistently and strategically invest in their existing resources and the others who are more likely to abandon the existing ones when they come across a new, more attractive, model.
Unfortunately, those in the first group are in the minority. To those in the latter group, the "new" promises to provide answers and fix existing problems. These organizations will readily discard the "old" in an attempt to get the operation moving ahead quickly. Regardless of what is being replaced - tools, systems or personnel - in most cases, it's exactly the wrong decision.
How did this evolve?
Thanks largely to the impact of advertising, it's almost human nature to believe that newer means better. But when you're in charge of an organization's direction, it's important that you have a more balanced - a more enlightened - approach. Unfortunately many leaders just aren't emotionally mature enough to balance the pros and cons appropriately. To them, as a rule, "the new is always better than the existing."
When it comes to key tools and systems, it can take a great deal of energy for a company to pull off a successful changeover. This is challenging even when the company has a full headcount, and each of those affected has the requisite time and clarity to get the job done properly. But if too many of the key players are already working at a pace at or near the breaking point; the chances of a successful execution are much slimmer. The organization loses momentum and important work can be stalled. Important stuff gets done poorly. Deadlines are missed, tempers flare. Sometimes people are fired by frustrated managers above them.
When it comes to replacing those managers, the impact can be equally poor. The new guy will fix it! Or, She'll know how to get us back on track!For a while everyone will be enamored with her or him. (S)he's the new shiny penny - much better than the old, tarnished one. But history shows that executive changes alone rarely make much difference over the long run - once the new person has run through their bag of new tricks, things aren't usually a great deal better overall. That's because just changing the lead sled dog doesn't address one of the key rules of management. And that key rule is investing in your people.
Strategically, making a long-term investment in people requires 4 key elements:
John M. McKee is the founder and CEO of BusinessSuccessCoach.net, an international consulting and coaching practice with subscribers in 43 countries. One of the founding senior executives of DIRECTV, his hands-on experience includes leading billion dollar organizations and launching start-ups in both the U.S. and Canada. The author of two published books, he is frequently seen providing advice on TV, in magazines, and newspapers.