Everyone in a company, as well as external stakeholders, look at managers and business owners for direction, decisions and guidance in the running of the organisation. Management are consequently, under considerable pressure to take decisions relating to the business. Their role is always about balancing decisions relating to the business survival and growth, with the impact on employees, clients and other stakeholders. Since such decisions carry consequences it is important that managers and owners are resilient. This will mean that they are able to:
Take decisions effectively when under pressure; and
To motivate themselves and others in tough times.
Covid-19 has been the cherry on the cake for many business owners and managers since it has added to this complexity and to the pressure. For many, it has also drastically changed the playing field. Today, decisions are more about survival and re-invention while trying to retain staff and not lay them off. The external uncertainty has become more intense and pressure on business owners and managers is greater. In these circumstances there is a risk that decisions are taken more rushed, with less attention to data but based more on subjective gut feeling. In such circumstances, the owner and managers’ subjective approach may easily become the main weakness.
We have, for example, experienced such subjectivity in a company who needed to temporarily shut down outlets due to social distancing measures. The owners were struggling through disagreement on the way forward since some were tied to the business model of the physical outlets while only one of the owners was slightly inclined to move the operation online. This led to many lost weeks of revenue and a severe hit on the company reserves (and the relationship between owners). Another experience was a particular company in trouble who was trying to decide whether to retain all employees or not and eventually who needed to be retained and who needed to be let go. The emotional bonds to employees was clearly impacting the direction of management’s decisions and the company was going to end up with a team of close friends who did not have the required skills to take it forward. In addition the company was going to expose itself to the legal aspects of employment that should actually be at the basis of such rational decision making.
“The advantage of external parties is that they are more able to contribute independent perspectives and input since they are untarnished by the emotion of actually forming part of the organisation itself.” CMG Consulta
In the circumstances, it is highly recommended that owners and managers seek guidance from external advisors who can accompany them in this tough and trying decision making. The advantage of external parties is that they are more able to contribute independent perspectives and input since they are untarnished by the emotion of actually forming part of the organisation itself. Through their work, external advisors develop the thought and decision-making process in these organisations to get them to a stage where the key decision maker is better supported by a resilient internal structure and possibly by some external help too, if that is necessary. The end objective is that the organisation learns, it grows and it becomes more self-sufficient in its strategic operation.
Accompanying management in their role does not mean there is a lack of competence or confidence, rather it means that there is a strong recognition that external assistance can go a long way in strengthening the organisation, its structures and decision making. It means that the business owner or manager sees the scope for getting external views and knowledge in order to supplement the strong core skills that already exist in the organisation while growing the organisation skills further. If you would like to discuss more or to see how we can support you with C-level thinking and input in order to help you and your organisation please get in touch.