Let’s take a journey together, you and me. As I count down from 5 to 1, I would like you to imagine yourself sinking deeper into despair, the arms of your chair reaching up to pin you to your seat. It is a relaxing type of despair so you’ll get used to it quickly.
Imagine the room getting darker and the words on the screen glowing with an eerie, otherworldliness, becoming the only thing you notice or pay attention to.
Now as you read these words, imagine that you are the stockholder of an international corporation; actually you, and your body, represent all the stockholders of this large company. This collective “you” realizes that your investment in this company is at stake, its expenses outstrip its revenues and its directors are continuously going the wrong direction. You have invested everything you have into the company and you realize that if it fails, you will fail.
The words in front of you spell out how badly managed this company is. These words tell you that the company is structured to have a modest number of unique departments with specified missions. But the words are saying that within each of these departments, and among each, there is inestimable duplication of activities, useless divisions and programs without specific goals, and waste and corruption and abuse.
And though up to this point, the words you’ve read have caused you to feel that there is no hope; that there is no way out of the spending mire in which you find yourself; that perhaps the only solutions is to begin looting your customers’ bank accounts indiscriminately to make up the shortfalls the company faces; or that maybe the company should start counterfeiting $1,000 bills; or, it should go to its largest competitor to ask for a loan (well, another loan, just a hundred billion more so that it can keep on top of expenses). It is at this point you see one word glowing brightly. The word is impossible to ignore. “Manage!”
You now find yourself in front of your whole organization, standing before every employee, every stakeholder, every customer, every manager and director. You feel you should be scared, you feel like the despair that was with you on our decent into this place should overwhelm you. But you remember the last word you saw and feel confident that you have an answer. “Manage!”
You know that you are here to tell this vast assemble crowd that your organization cannot balance its budgets solely on the backs of its customers. It can no longer raise capital by borrowing more money. You know that you need to tell them the answer to the problems begins with one action. “Manage!” And you know that to “Manage” means the company must acknowledge what has brought about this situation.
You describe the redundancy, the abuse, the waste, and the burgeoning of departments and programs with no apparent rhyme or reason. You demand that the board bring forward the department heads to explain what each department is doing, what their programs are aimed to address, and how they can measure the success of those programs. You refuse to accept the explanation that this or that program is needed simply because it keeps people employed. You’re not going to accept that the program exists because one of the board members asked for a favor from a department head, or some small percentage of the shareholders thought the program should exist. You demand accountability, you demand consolidation, and you demand that the management, from the Board of Directors to the CEO to each department head, plan, monitor, and control, every aspect of the organization’s activities with the goal of obtaining demonstrable outcomes without undue expense.
On the count of 3, I am going to snap my fingers and you will awake. Before I count to 3, I am going to leave you with this suggestion. Read a recent report on your organization’s poor management, 1. You will find it by following this link (http://tinyurl.com/4gdkt7r), 2. Oh, and you will no longer let others dissuade you from doing what is expected of a concerned shareholder, which is to speak up about your interest in the survival of this organization. You’ll not accept faulty claims that you are unsympathetic, extreme, or a knuckle-dragger. I think that covers it, 3.
*(Disclaimer – the above is not intended to provide actual therapy or, to serve as a remedy for any medical condition. If you have a medical condition, seek the advice of a qualified physician. If your medical condition includes thinking our government is on the right track, that no amount of additional spending is by the government is a problem, and that there is money a plenty in the pockets of rich Americans to pay for all the whims of the government, this is a symptom of a deeper problem for which no amount of advice from a qualified physician will help. )