What If… The Solution Your Organization Is Seeking Begins By Taking The Air Out Of Your Tires?

Racing Wheels

Several years ago I heard a great analogy about a truck that was driving on a narrow mountain road and got stuck trying to enter a tunnel. The truck could not move forward or backward. Experts tried for hours to figure out what to do. Finally a small child asked, “Why don’t you take the air out of the tires?” That simple solution worked.

In our current economy, we are all aware of organizations that are like that truck. They were moving down the road and got stuck. Now they can’t figure out how to get out of their present situation to meet their objectives.

Like the experts in the story, many organizations are so close to the situation that they can’t see the obvious. Some are so afraid of political ramifications that they do nothing. And sadly many others are unwilling to seek simple solutions and embrace opportunities to work with others to achieve greater results.

Below are several REAL examples:

1. Managers that work in different departments have daily opportunities to serve each other at a high level.

  • However the executives they report to frequently talk smack about each other and go out of their way to avoid working together.
  • So the managers follow the example that has been set for them – spending more time in turf battles than aiding each other.
  • Their teams become ropes in a tug-of-war.
  • The result?  Daily decisions to pacify egos instead of working as a team to serve customers more effectively and efficiently.  Impacting customer loyalty, employee retention & revenue.

2.  Executives repeatedly dismiss an opportunity to increase revenue because  it’s viewed as “low hanging fruit.”

  • Years later that opportunity is implemented and adds over 10 Million in revenue to the organization.

3.  Customers ask an organization to improve their effectiveness for more than 20 years, sometimes settling for less than what they need and sometimes traveling a great distance to get what they need from a competitor.

  • Partially because the customers and the organization don’t speak the same language.
  • And partially because no one in the organization was empowered to make a difference anyway.
  • Plans are now being made to address that opportunity.

4.  Employees share specific concerns with executives for more than 5 years about the need to upgrade their tools so they can serve customers more effectively and more efficiently.

  • Nothing changes.
  • When crisis hits, it is impossible to achieve the company objectives and brand loyalty suffers.

5.  Repeated customer requests cause an organization to spend millions to create a state of the art program that is a huge competitive advantage.

  • After initiating the program, the organization fails to communicate what has been done and why - both internally and externally. So their own sales, marketing, and a majority of their operations teams are out of the loop; as are the customers themselves.
  • Within a couple of years the baby is thrown out with the bathwater.

6.   An executive is unwilling to work with a customer seeking a strong strategic partnership, because the customer does not have a big enough title to be worthy of his time.

  • So instead of facilitating a strong alliance with an organization that is significantly more powerful than his own, the executive becomes a roadblock.
  • As a result the attempted partnership starts and stops, and starts and stops, but never gains momentum and never reaches its full potential.

7.   An organization has an opportunity to increase brand awareness, brand loyalty and revenue a minimum of 25%, for work they are already doing.

  • All they need to do is adjust their vision and processes.
  • Their future has not yet been written…

What if…  The solution you seek begins by taking the air out of your tires?


Thanks to Jon Mertz for his Lead Change Post:  Pocket Change Leadership: How do you use change?

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2 Responses to What If… The Solution Your Organization Is Seeking Begins By Taking The Air Out Of Your Tires?

  1. Karin Hurt November 7, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

    Great examples of the power of stepping back and looking toward the bigger picture vision.

  2. Chery Gegelman February 20, 2013 at 6:45 am #

    Thanks Karin!

    It always amazew me how small opportunities are capapable of unleasing uncommon results. ((Both positive and negative.)

    I LOVE this quote by Patrick Lencioni, “I am convinced that once organizational health is properly understood and placed into the right context it will surpass all other disciplines in business as the greatest opportunity for improvement and competitive advantage. Really.”

    Have a great day!