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Emergency

Two examples from a discussion on Leadership

One group defines a leader’s contribution as designing and painting a new picture for the future of a company. This is a positive new frame for change needed, because business competition is strong and changes fast.

The other group states that a leader operates best by being a team leader. Psychologists and Organisation experts choose this process focus. Business Leaders focus on what leaders must add to the organisation in a fiercely competitive environment.

When I sent an invitation for a conference on Cooperation, an entrepreneur answered: ‘ That is not in my interests, I am an entrepreneur, I do not cooperate, I compete’.

Sense of emergency: a survival mood

A Sense of Emergency is important for business leaders. A company leader chooses his actions based on what his company needs to survive. His company comes first, and the top people above all.

In the movie “Margin Call’ by J.C. Candor, the board and directors of a capital investment firm meet in the evening to deliberate all night on the outcome of a new evaluation of their assets. The value of their assets is only 10% of what it appeared yesterday. When stock market brokers have this information, the company will not have any cash and will become bankrupt. What to do? They decide first thing in the morning at the opening of the stock exchange to offer all stocks to their regular clients for any price. The sellers get a bonus of 10% on each sale. In one hour all stocks are sold.

The company has liquid assets, fires 90% of its employees, and some stay. The burden is on the employees who are sacked, and also on whoever realises later that the stocks they bought are without any value.

Did anyone in the company have second thoughts, or resist this action? Yes, many had second thoughts, but everyone chose their own survival.

When to stop a business?

One can stop it at the right moment, or too early, or too late. In a discussion an American says: We Americans tend to stop business too early, you Europeans tend to stop too late. I do not know if this statement fits reality in general, but it made me reflect on my thoughts on business.

In my personal history I once chose to stop a startup. The preparation took one year, the business plan was in detail, all directors supported the initiative, but soon the evaluation of the competences of the partner dropped to below zero. After six months I suggested the stakeholders should unplug. They were relieved.

For another start up I continually tried new initiatives, but with no success. The stakeholders had to save me from flogging a dead horse.

Who creates a new perspective?

Postal delivery services are having a tough time everywhere in Europe. Some choose to split package delivery from mail delivery. Others are sold to big world-wide companies. Most react to dropping turnover with downgrading personal costs, the biggest cost on the score card.

In a Belgian city all the postman gathered for discussions about their future. They knew of all the actions taken by other post delivery organisations in other countries.

The Belgian postmen thought ‘What is our unique strength in this city?’ We know every corner of the city and we know how to transport everything from one place to another'. They added a local service to their business for delivering goods in the city itself.

They survived.

More in the blog of Pim Elfferich. In Dutch. ...

Ton Voogt

April 2016

© 2017 TonVoogtConsultancy ~ Recent Update 24-08-2017
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