Author Archives: Tony Evans

Riding the Demise Curve and Eliminating Variation in Performance

Riding the Demise Curve and Eliminating Variation in Performance

When taking any organisation through serious change, leaders need to be able to recognise what is required to ensure that a successful transformation is achieved. This involves a clear understanding of where the organisation really is now, what constitutes the shape and position of the desired state; then work out how to get there.

To facilitate a successful outcome; ‘how things are done round here’ almost certainly needs to change.

Below are a number of suggestions designed to ensure that an organisation, should it choose to adopt them, never leaves the Demise Curve and ensures a definite outcome. It is left to the reader to determine what that will be and offer additional creative ideas about what will help even further.

  1. Micro-manage; micro-manage; micro-manage. It is essential that all decision making is made with all the information available to the decision maker – you.
  2. The definition of a Yorkshireman is a Scotsman with all the generosity squeezed out: make them look profligate when it comes to rewarding staff.
  3. Reduce diversity as much as possible as this encourages variation that is both difficult and expensive to control.
  4. Achieve even-handedness by the introduction of meaningless job titles, ideally including the word ‘manager’ throughout. This has the additional benefit of reducing independent thinking; one of the primary drivers in escalating performance deviation from the curve.
  5. Avoid all vision, mission and strategy deliberations. This is all ‘vapour-ware’, takes a lot of valuable time and gets in the way of what you want to do. It also introduces ‘group think’ – another management fad much loved by overpaid consultants – another dangerous practice when trying so hard to ‘hold the curve’.
  6. It is essential that everyone is 100% focussed on providing the information you need for decision making, therefore ensure nothing gets in the way of this primary function every individual must undertake. Specifically, remove all opportunities for teamwork; that eater of time and obfuscator of getting the real work done. Your people should stand on their own two feet.
  7. People need to know everything that is necessary for them to deliver the information to senior management decision making (you) to time. And nothing else. This removes the need for unnecessary timewasting communications conduits. Given the approach that says people already know what they need to do their job, there is no requirement for spurious resource application like people development.
  8. Focus completely on the ‘here and now’
  9. Ruthlessly pursue root cause analysis; then fire whoever is at the centre of the problem.
  10. Flexibility in the workforce is key: given all are ‘managers’ they all put in the required time, 24/7.
  11. Gratitude is another pre-requisite: it should be absolutely clear that every employee should recognise the benefit of working with the organisation.
  12. Understand the ‘WIIFM’. Knowing yourself is critical in stressful times of change.
  13. Practice the 5 ‘Ss’: Sexism, solitude, sycophancy, silence, streamlining
  14. Use the modified rule of St. Benedict: ‘The strong have something to decide and the weak have nothing to do with it’.

Ensuring the above are in place should allow a high probability of achieving our objective of precisely riding the curve!