It happens all the time.
A mature company has challenges. Growth slows or stalls.
The leadership wants to get more done. Faster and more efficiently.
The internal team is tasked with doing more.
As hard as they push, the team doesn’t speed up. Or, When speed picks up, quality goes down.
The quest for helpful data isn’t any better. The analytics are not helping – if you can even get more.
And the frustration mounts.
As the leader, you keep being told that “it takes time”…. “We have a lot on our plate”…. Or, my all-time favorite, “It's in the queue”.
It's hard to admit that your team – the one you hired – isn’t getting the job done to your satisfaction.
Who do you trust? Are you pushing too hard? Asking for too much? Being unreasonable? Heck, maybe you’re just not smart enough to know what you’re asking for isn’t possible.
I know I’m generalizing but, more often than not, it's not you --- it's your team. Which means, it IS you. You chose them and built the team yourself. But, something has changed.
They are running at a pace that used to be ok. They have skills that used to be sufficient. They are doing things “the way we always do them” and that’s not good enough anymore.
I love and believe in people but, the cold hard truth is that sometimes the people that helped you get here are not the ones that can help you reach your future goals.
Tough decisions need to be made.
That doesn’t mean you have to cut them all and hire new folks. That may be the answer, but before you do that and get rid of some valuable institutional knowledge, consider other ideas.
I’m a huge fan of developing your people and, also, exploring your options of using outside resources. Often, a highly skilled contractor can be brought in on a short term basis to solve specific problems without any long term expensive commitment.
I’ve been involved with several different companies over the last year that were more than willing to go outside their existing team and explore new ideas and options for solving problems.
Those projects crossed over a wide variety of departments ---- Marketing, Operations, IT, Customer Service, Events and more. Essentially, we're all reinvented with the help of resources that the companies didn’t have on staff.
Problems were solved. Efficiency gained. Quality improved.
Costs reduced. And, often, the team was able to speed up.
As the leader, it's your responsibility to get things done and, as hard as it may be- you have to make the big decisions. Sometimes, the decisions you made in the past are causing the current challenges.
Admit it, adjust and, by all means, ask for help if you need. It is not a sign of weakness.