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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Corporate Survival- Part 3 no win situations


Corporate Survival- It's your choice.

Are you stressed out at work or frustrated in your career?  If you said yes, you are not alone.  Today, more employees than ever before are experiencing unhealthy levels of stress and frustration in their jobs.

Conditions such as under performing peers, unsuccessful managers, organizational instability, and marketplace disruptions plague almost every team, project and company.  These conditions can make life almost unbearable at times for individuals that are forced to endure them, creating unhealthy levels of stress that can impact every facet of our lives. 
Don't think for a second that organizations always get it right when making strategic decisions, managing the day to day or promoting or hiring for key positions, they often don't.  Your individual situation at your company, regardless of the size of your organization is a multi-faceted and complex operating environment that is influenced by decisions and inputs from many stakeholders, often with competing and disparate agendas.  The larger your organization, the more complex and competitive your industry, increases the likelihood that the level of dysfunction and misalignment in your day to day is at unhealthy levels.  Understandably, almost no organizational decision is made with the individual in mind.  Many times the real reasons behind decisions that have a direct impact on you, seem confusing or even contrary to the success of the business. 

Also, don't forget that running companies, managing teams and projects is very difficult work.  Decisions by managers are often made with incomplete information, compressed schedules or other confidential factors and are forced upon teams that are understaffed or caught up in the midst of change.  Sometimes, depending on the industry, decisions made by senior managers can take months or years before the determination can be made as to whether or not the decision was correct, or successful.  Often times, the person who made the original decision is no longer there, and there is a new manager, maybe it's you, who is attempting to execute strategy that may not even be correct.  Sound familiar? 

Some people have endured circumstances described above for so long that they think it is normal, or the way it's supposed to be. 

There are many business books and support mechanisms in place to increase your leadership skills, improve your communication, motivate you towards making the entrepreneurial leap and so on.  But the truth is that most individuals are compelled to endure their current situation for longer than desired, longer than is healthy, longer than they should, out of necessity or more specifically, out of survival. 

Has this ever happened to you or someone you know?  What should you do if you find yourself in an unpleasant situation at work that is causing too much stress and anxiety and for whatever reason you cannot break away from it? 

Take immediate steps to increase your situational awareness.


Engage your organizational OODA (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act) loop.

  1. Observation is your most critical skill. You may not be able to escape the situation, but you will be better able to survive it by learning as much as you can.  Consider factors that are outside of your normal altitude.  Do research on your industry, your competition, senior leaders of your organization. 

  2. Orient yourself around a mission.  You will always be right to focus on accomplishing your organization or your team's mission.  I did not say you will always be recognized for doing so, but you will always be right.  Create positive goals built upon daily accomplishments, no matter how small or simple.  Encourage and teach your teammates to follow your example. 

  3. Decide to survive.  Survival is a deliberate choice.  If you know you can't leave, then you have no choice.  Don't follow phonies or think you must act like them to succeed.

  4. Act- Be action oriented.  Strive for results.  Expect the unexpected.  Work harder.  Support your team.  Find someone to trust at your organization.  Don't be afraid.  Take bold risks when the time is right.

Although few companies are without some measure of dysfunction, organizational tension or failing projects, there are many that consistently get "it" right, and have brand zealots as employees to show for it.  Talk with someone from USAA, Enterprise Rental Car, Chick-Fil-A and of course Google and many of the social media companies.  Check out Fortune Magazine's annual "100 Best companies to work for" survey and learn what makes these companies great places to work for.  Keep your corporate OODA loop engaged, and look for ways to improve your situation.  Of course, if you see an opportunity to make a big change, and the timing is right in your individual life, then do it.  It's not your responsibility to endure forever, environments that are persistently stressful and negative. 

Always remember, survival, especially corporate survival, is a deliberate choice. 

"Beyond Normal Limits", are you ready for it?



Adventure Operations Group offers corporate team building, discreet assessments and consulting  designed to enhance performance and create "Beyond Normal Limits" individuals and teams.  Contact us today to learn more.