One Big Reason Your Manufacturing Company Isn’t Growing, Won’t Get Acquired, and Needs a Kick in The Pants
Human drama affects every organization, even manufacturing that likes to believe that every problem can be solved with a technical solution. Let’s level set our expectations for the sake of the next five minutes you spend reading this post by agreeing on that basic premise.
Has your company missed project deadlines because of conflict between senior leaders?
Has your revenue been pushed down two quarters or more because the proverbial left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing?
Has anyone complained of the company being divided into silos?
Final question, I promise: Do you know exactly how much this is costing your company every year?
When there’s conflict at the top, a lack of alignment throughout the management team, or an inability to gain consensus on a strategic direction, there isn’t sustainable growth. Meaning, your company won’t grow to the point where another company is willing to kick in the money to buy it, employees bad mouth the leadership on sites like Glassdoor.com, and growth gets a punch in the mouth.
One (but not the only) Big Reason Your Company Isn’t Growing
The strategic direction is unclear, not compelling, or has no obvious and sustained influence on employees’ daily activities.
When your strategic direction is unclear, everyone is left to decide for themselves which direction to head. And this often shows up as people simply reacting to whatever smacks them in the face first when they walk in the front door. But it leads to department heads figuring it out for themselves, which is why people start to describe the organization as siloed.
When your strategic direction is not compelling, people hear it and feel the way a rock looks falling into a pond. Like something important just went away. People need to feel connected to a bigger cause and see how they contribute to that cause. Your company might not be out to save the world, but it should definitely be designed to make a difference to some part of the world. When it’s not, people look around at their options. They start to ask where else their talents might be better used.
When your strategic direction has no obvious and sustained influence on employees’ daily activities it’s not alive. It’s simply a document or a bunch of words repeated that ring hollow. People want to see how their daily efforts are impacting the business, so they can bring their ability to generate ideas, showcase their creativity, and solve problems that matter to the table.
The lack of a clear and compelling strategic direction leads to conflict, lack of consensus, unaligned goals, which all cost the company money, time, and the potential to hire, retain, be acquired, and go the distance.
And as much as we all like to believe we’re independent, can handle it all ourselves, let’s get real. Get help solving the problems you have now, so you can move on to new problems.