Does any of this have a familiar ring to it?
Markers for Stage 4
- A series of silver bullets: There is a tendency to make dramatic, big moves, such as a “game changing” acquisition or a discontinuous leap into a new strategy or an exciting innovation, in an attempt to quickly catalyze a breakthrough – and then to do it again and again, lurching about from program to program, goal to goal, strategy to strategy, in a pattern of chronic inconsistency.
- Grasping for a leader-as-saviour: The board responds to threats and setbacks by searching for a charismatic leader and/or outside saviour.
- Panic and haste: Instead of being calm, deliberate, and disciplined, people exhibit hasty, reactive behaviour, bordering on panic.
- Radical change and “revolution” with fanfare: The language of “revolution” and “radical” change characterizes the new era: New programs! New cultures! New strategies! Leaders engage in hoopla, spending a lot of energy trying to align and “motivate” people, engaging in buzzwords and taglines
- Hype precedes results: Instead of setting expectations low – underscoring the duration and difficulty of the turnaround – leaders hype their visions; They “sell the future” to compensate for the lack of current results, initiating a pattern of over-promising and under-delivering. Initial upswing followed by disappointments: There is an initial burst of positive results, but they do not last; dashed hope follows dashed hope; The organization achieves no build-up, no cumulative momentum.
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