What challenges are you not seeing?
Find Your Blind Spots, Make It to September
My instincts tell me that if your business (or your division, department, project, team or group) makes it through the end of September, you'll make it through this downturn*.
My experience tells me that if you have got this far, the main threat to you (or your division, department, project, team or group) making it to September will not arise from the challenges you can see, but from those you can not - your blind spots.
If you've got this far, you've proved you can face up to the challenges you see. To make it to the other side, you now need to identify the challenges that are out there, but for whatever reason, you're not seeing them.
I call them UN-Challenges, and here are the 40 most common. Are any of them your blind spots?:
For Business Owners and C-Level Execs:
Once implementation begins, business owners and key decision-makers tend to execute well - otherwise you wouldn't be where you are, right? The danger areas for business owners and key decision-makers lie in two 'pre-implementation' blind spots - those areas where a (1) decision has been made, but implementation has been deferred (for whatever reason), or (2) where past success hides the need for hard decision-making:
1. What Have You Left Un-Done That Needs to Be Done?
The simplest 'un-'s to spot are those hard decisions that you know need to be implemented, but have shied away from. It might be as big as a plant or shift closing, it might be trimming your product line or service offering, it might be making those final cost savings, or letting go that favored employee or team member.
Whatever it is, now is the time to do what you have heretofore left undone. I'm not promulgating doom and gloom, and I'm not suggesting you make any cuts you don't need to make - but if there are
decisions you have already made, but have been putting off implementing, now is the time to act. Here are the top 10 'Un-Done's' that could leave your businesses undone: [Click here to view the top 10 blind spots in this UN-Challenge]
2. What Have You Left Un-Changed That Needs to Be Changed?
A high percentage of businesses that don't make it through severe downturns fail because the key decision-makers don't adequately rethink their structure, systems and processes in the light of new realities. If you want to make it out the other side of this downturn, well, as Marshall Goldsmith put it "What got you here won't get you there". Here are the top 10 areas you need to ask yourself hard questions about: [Click here to view the top 10 blind spots in this UN-Challenge]
For Managers and Individual Contributors:
If you're a manager or individual contributor, it may appear that the survival of you and your group or team lies in the hands of others. Even when that is so (and it sometimes isn't), you are still the single biggest influence on the decision-maker. The question is - are you using that influence correctly (if at all)?
How many times have you heard someone say "If only they'd listened to me, we could have made this work"? Here's how to make sure you're not that person:
3. What Have You Left Un-Challenged That Needs to Be Challenged?
If you don't see changes happening in a system, process or model that you know would improve efficiency and/or effectiveness, make sure you challenge it. Essentially, if you don't see your senior managers working on the list above ("What Have You Left Un-Changed That Needs to Be Changed?"), you need to be the one who triggers their consideration: [Click here to view the top 10 blind spots in this UN-Challenge]
4. What Have You Left Un-Said That Needs to Be Said?
You might work in an organization that encourages statements such as those below. Sadly, it's more likely that you don't. Either way, it's your call - do you want to speak up now, and take a chance of making real change, or hunker down and hope someone else figures it out? My guess is that whichever of these apply to you are better said now than in an exit interview:[Click here to view the top 10 blind spots in this UN-Challenge]
*No, I'm not saying that this downturn will end in September - far from it. But I do believe that those organizations (and divisions, departments, projects, teams and groups) that will survive, and those that won't, will have been winnowed out by then.
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