In the past decade, one of the challenges faced by both managers and employees of organizations had been a high rate of organisation failure. This has resulted in increasing unemployment in the economy. Even people who switch employment sometimes find it difficult to learn from the saying “look before you leap” in their search and acceptance of new offer – and this is due to poor situation analysis.
It is an established fact that employees encounter more frustration by leaving a failing organisation for another that might just survive for a few months. Hence, the knowledge of indicators of a declining organisation becomes necessary. In line with the peculiarity of Nigeria’s current business environment, “dying” organizations exhibit the following characteristics, though far from being exhaustive:
- Over staffed
- Disregard of the significance of result achievement
- The high rate of corruption
- Resistance to change
- Deliberate clumsy administrative procedures
- Absence of clear direction
- Persistent low morale of managers and employees
- Improper board constitution and crisis
- Internal corporate crisis
- Weak control processes
- Outdated organizational structure
- Excessive organizational politics
- Absence of effective communication
- The very high rate of turn over
- Increased scapegoating by leaders
- Decreased innovation by individuals and the enterprise
- Continuous loss of competitive advantage
- Resource wastage and mismanagement, etc.
For a ship to capsize means it overturns, upsets, or turns over. When a ship capsizes, the occupants will leave the ship either dead or alive. Without prejudice to the teachings of the social scientists, the organisation you manage or work for must be viewed as a ‘living thing’, perhaps as a ‘mother’ and a ‘baby’ all in one. As a mother, it accommodates and feeds so many people directly or indirectly. It is a ‘baby’ because it needs to be cared for. Every good manager should always remember to be a ‘nurse’ of some sort – monitoring the body temperature of the baby and apply necessary ‘first aid’ when symptoms develop.
This is a key reason why managers and executives must be trained in different skills. Where in-house skills are inadequate to apply the desired ‘first aid’, the need for a ‘doctor’ will arise. It is unfair and disastrous to wait for a mother to develop serious ailment before a solution is sought. Remember, if the mother dies all the children will disperse into different directions and some may never find their feet again.
When an organisation is allowed to develop full-fledged ailment, the result is organisation failure or as I would put it, ‘the corporate ship capsizes’. However, organizations can be saved from total failure through Hillgate’s Gradational Remedial Approach (GRA), which removes the burden of total turn around or ‘overhauling a capsized ship’. If in any event, a ship capsizes, don’t abandon the ship; pull it out of the water, clean it up, dry up its major components, repair and constitute a new crew headed by a new captain. As you might recall, accountants always say ‘a business is a going concern’
Chris N Ohanemu PhD.
Managing Consultant/ CEO Hillsgate Consulting, Lagos