Is Your Organization”Average?” Want to Know Why?

Morning Folks!!

I often complain about organizations having meeting after
meeting and making no decisions. What a waste of time, talent and energy.

General McChrystal, US Commander in Afghanistan, was
interviewed last week on 60 Minutes. He said something that caught my
attention. I played it over and over again.

“An average organization when someone asks when you want
something they pull out a
calendar, but in a good organization, they pull out their watch.”

I think you can easily take this one step further when we
talk about “Decision making”. Does your company use a Calendar or a Watch? Are
you average or are you good? These are very fair questions. This is the single
biggest threat to companies survival. I deal with it daily. Folks can make no
decisions. They need permission to do their jobs.

There is a leak in the boat
and instead of taking the chewing gum out of your mouth to plug up the leak
until it can be fixed properly, they need permission. They need permission from
their boss. They need permission from his boss. Then they need to have a
meeting about it. Then they have a second meeting. Then they finally submit it
to “Legal” who gives you 6 IDIOTIC reasons that somebody else has to use their
gum until the project can be bidded on.

Hellooooo??? Anyone see a sinking ship here??

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz

7 thoughts on “Is Your Organization”Average?” Want to Know Why?

  1. Cue

    I started working for a family owned business which was very quick to make decisions. A meeting was held only to get every one on board about a decision or direction the CEO (owner) was leading us for growth.
    The highly successful company sold to a Public company and everything changed. Daily meetings were scheduled. Each meeting was longer than the one previous and it would end with everyone checking the calendar to schedule the next meeting on the same subject. The sinking ship.
    Once a meeting started, I would try hard to pay attention but would start daydreaming after about 9 minutes.
    If anyone would ask my opinion 20 or 30 minutes into the meeting, I would state that I had A.D.H.D. (I do not) and that they had lost me 10 minutes into the meeting.
    I would then state”But I did hear the 1st 10 minutes”. Although I missed most of the meeting, I would almost always respond with a relevant response.
    Thankfully I decided to leave the Public company and work for myself.
    I have never had a meeting in the 5 years since and have made many successful decisions.
    The Captain leads the ship and the mates follow his orders, even if it is directly into the path of an Iceberg. You can’t stop a sinking ship. Everyman for himself.

  2. SEO Guru

    Love it.
    Just moved to the UK and started working in a digital agency.
    Very few decision makers. Those who do make decisions only have faith in their own knowledge.
    Needless to say things move slow.

  3. Jamie

    That was a great interview with General McChrystal and the very same line grabbed at my ear when watching it. The sad thing for the General is he still has to deal with all the red tape to get things done on a daily bases. He is ready to go, but the rest are not.

  4. Kevin

    2 sides to this coin however.
    If you relinquish decision making power out throughout the organization you’re bound to end up with many incompetent decisions being made. And if it is a critical decision that isn’t made correctly, it could impact the entire company, and the corporate execs above the decision maker.
    This is why the larger an organization becomes the greater the number of protective layers end up on each decision. Everyone on each level of power wants to cover their asses and not get blamed for any screwball decisions made by the people under them.
    So doubtful that will ever change.
    The advantage of running your own company of course is you have the supreme power to execute decisions instantly without all the corporate hoopla. Though sometimes that isn’t always great either because entrepreneurs tend to think all their decisions are the right ones and they are infallible to error.

  5. Jim Holleran

    I hate meetings, 99% of them are a waste of time.
    When people ask me to go to meetings, I tell them I will only go if you send a limo with some”strippers” in it. Otherwise, e-mail me the details.
    That is what is great about working for yourself, no meetings!!!
    It seems the people who are always in meetings are the ones who never make any money.
    Thanks, Jim Holleran


    Every other meeting means the leak gets worst but if it’s too big, then you must be ready to jump in the water and swim fast to buy a new ship while others are trying to fix theirs.

  7. jeff schneider

    Hello Rick,
    The reason that salesmen make so much money in most companies is that they dont make their decisions from interdepartmental meetings. They are expected to make their decisions where the rubber meets the road, and that is with the companies all important clients.
    Most salesmen are given wide latitude in making decisions that will benefit the whole company. Many times they have to make intuitive decisions, on the run, that quite frankly their administrative bosses dont have the guts to make. Is it any wonder that a lot of salesmen make more money than their bosses?
    Gratefully , Jeff


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.