(Time to read this article is about 45 seconds)

I recently worked with a client who wanted help with two business challenges:

  1. To improve their relationship with their customers…and,
  2. To improve management’s relationship with their employees.

Clearly, these two are connected…but the ‘big bosses’ didn’t see that.  It turns out that there are two partners in this business with completely different management styles. They agree on nothing and frequently go behind each other’s back when making decisions. One partner has enlisted ‘spies’ throughout the organization to report on what the other partner is doing. 

Now, this may be an extreme example of business dysfunction but it’s real and it happens.  There’s an old European expression, “The fish stinks from the head.”  Fish and businesses both deteriorate from the top down…never from the tail up.

When you see problems on the front line, treat them as symptoms of problems further up the line. Unless you fix the real problem, the symptoms will persist. Whether it’s a customer loyalty issue, a systems problem, a morale issue, a knowledge or skill problem. or an attitude problem, it starts at or near the top.  It’s easy to blame your front-line people…but it’s usually not their fault.

I’ve worked with many clients on ‘non-performance’ issues over the years and have discovered that there are 11 reasons for non-performance in an organization…and most of them start at the top.  To download my insightful article on “13 Possible Reasons for Non-Performance…and whose fault are they.” simply click here.

About Donald Cooper

Donald Cooper, MBA, CSP, HoF: Donald speaks and coaches in over 40 industries throughout the world.  He delivers the ‘straight goods’ on how to sell more, manage smarter, grow your bottom line...and have a life!  To chat about ‘possibilities’ for your next business or Industry Association Conference, call me at 416-252-3703 in Toronto, or click here to connect to our ‘Enquiry Page’.  

One Response to Your front-line problems start at the top:
  1. Hi Donald, hope all is well with you and your family?

    Interesting article this week including the 13 reasons…etc. I am going to send a sample report of our latest assessment, which I believe addresses many of them. I will send it tomorrow, would like your thoughts on it.

    Jack.


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