Rascally rabbits. Are they running rampant in your organization?
In 1859, Thomas Austin released the first ever 24 wild rabbits into Australia's outback for his hunting pleasure. Within ten years, Australians were shooting and trapping more than two million rabbits a year, with no noticeable effect on the population. By the mid-1900's, there were over 600 million rabbits in Australia, covering the entire countryside and wiping out one-eighth of Australia's indigenous animal species by out-eating the food supply. Man lost control of its living environment because rampant, rascally rabbits turned the Australian eco-system out of balance. Today, the situation still remains precarious.
Your organization carries exactly the same rascally rabbit risk. An enterprise of any kind or size is an organized system that produces goods and services for customers. Anytime your organization does not deliver high quality results on time, on-budget, you can be sure a rampant, rascally rabbit is the cause.
The prime evidence is workload-overload. Companies who are struggling to meet timelines and scrambling to recover from mistakes and misunderstandings typically experience workload overload. They are overrun with rabbits that have gone rampantly wild. Orders are coming in faster than can be processed. Deliveries are promised but not shipped on time. Executives to front-line supervisors are feeling frustrated because they are never caught up. Top management is feeling the heat from higher costs to repair errors and reassure customers.
Let me ask you this:
1. Are your company's products and services consistently meeting quality standards?
2. Are your company's products and services being delivered consistently on-time?
3. Do you go home most nights confident that your key responsibilities are under control?
4. Do you feel that your management is acting decisively to remedy operational shortcomings?
5. Are you satisfied that everyone on the team is pulling their weight?
If you answered No to any one of these questions, your organization is likely suffering from a case of rampant, rascally rabbits. Somewhere in your organization, hidden in a hole, are one or more rabbits that are creating roadblocks to your success. Perhaps a key step in a process is missing, like assigning someone to solve special order problems. Perhaps someone doesn't realize or is uncommitted to a turnaround time of 24 hrs, not one week. Perhaps a senior manager is undermining others by interfering with and even taking over other people's work, leaving behind demoralized staffers.
If you or a senior leader you know is accepting that the way you're doing things isn't working anymore, you may be ready for solutions that will solve the rascally rabbit problem. Our recommended solution is to make the rabbit holes VISIBLE. Create a transparent organization where everyone can see what everyone else does. This transparency makes every employee a leadership participant in the quest to find and eliminate breakdown points that I call rascally rabbits.
To learn more about our systematic solutions, go to http://www.performanceshift.com A wise leader once said, "If you can see it, you can manage it." Then you will be able to relax and say, "Everything is under control."
I hope 2006 has been a great year for you. I wish you a Merry Christmas and a pwospewous New Year - fwee of wascally wabbits!
Chief Designer, Performance Shift Leadership Systems