Leadership misassumptions happen. Let’s face it. Nobody’s perfect. Especially when the SMB leadership goal is to be “good enough.”
Frequently, misassumptions happen when leadership teams have worked together for a long time. And the company does well. In fact, a company performs well enough to lull their leadership team into making 4 big misassumptions.
The first misassumption is assuming everyone on the team is on the same page regarding corporate vision and processes necessary to execute competitive strategy.
The second misassumption is assuming each leadership team member consistently and effectively communicates vision and strategy to their respective departments.
Then, the leadership team collectively makes the third misassumption. They assume that each respective department implicitly understands how to consistently execute vision through a set of optimized, dynamic processes.
Finally, the leadership team commits the deadly fourth misassumption. They become content with being “good enough” as a sustainable competitive strategy.
When a leadership team is on cruise control, members are not actively engaged with each other or their departments, people and processes. As a result, they overlook the small things. These small things – over time – prevent their company from becoming more distinctive, innovative and competitive, in the future.
When a good enough legacy SMB leadership team becomes competitively complacent, innovation suffers.
Being good enough is not the same thing as being great. Even legacy SMBs can slowly take their eyes off the competitive horizon. Consequently, leadership becomes content with maintaining the profitability of an historic brand which may no longer be contemporarily relevant.
As a result, they gradually attract an entirely different set of customers than the ones upon which their brand and legacy were built. These “replacement” clients, in turn, also are content with “good enough.”
Often legacy clients drift away and do business with competitors not bound by the past. Rather, these hungry competitors are discontent with “good enough.” Instead, they create a culture of continuous innovation to grow, expand and sustain their businesses. In continuously disrupting themselves, competitors hope to prevent the misassumptions leading to complacency about being “good enough.”
Also, when a good enough SMB leadership team keeps making these 4 critical misassumptions, it’s a signal they are far too comfortable – and far too good – working together.
As long as the SMB remains in the black, the leadership team assesses everything as good enough. As a result, they underestimate the importance of updating and upgrading the people and processes which positively impact strategic profitability.
When a SMB leadership team is comfortably settled into good enough legacy routines and mindset, they stop asking themselves entrepreneurial questions. Then, they are unable to assume the objectivity required to determine “what do we need to do to position ourselves for tomorrow and at least 5 years down the road?”
Provocative insights? Is your SMB leadership team stuck and spinning their wheels making any (or all) of these 4 big misassumptions? Perhaps it’s time to move one millimeter outside of your current comfort level, today, as an investment for sustaining your company, tomorrow and in the future.
Next steps to liberate your SMB leadership team from critical misassumptions:
Babette Ten Haken serves organizations as a corporate catalyst and innovative speaker, strategist, coach and storyteller. Babette’s One Millimeter Mindset™ Workshops and Speaking programs leverage collaboration to catalyze professional innovation, workforce engagement and customer retention, especially in challenging Industrial Internet of Things environments. Babette’s playbook of IIoT team collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon. She is a member of SME, ASQ, SHRM and the National Speakers Association. Image author: Aleksander Image source: Fotolia