[tweetmeme]We are seeing the spinning gate for top officers swirl faster and faster. Two-thirds of all large companies worldwide have fired their top officer at least once since 1995. More than 1,000 CEOs have left office over the past 12 months. In 2000, over 40 CEOs of the top 200 companies were fired. When 20 percent of the most powerful business leaders in The United States lose their jobs, there is a problem!
What is the so wrong? What is the biggest underlying issue? In a Fortune article titled, “Why CEOs Fail,” the question was posed, “suppose what brought down all these powerful and undeniable talented executives was just one common failing?”
Top business consultants have argued for business to better strategize, align, and implement.
Employees are asking for better strategies, clearer expectations and the chance to use their talents to contribute. A FranklinCovey study evaluated the characteristics of 52,000 managers across hundreds of organizations. More than 400,000 of the managers’ associates were asked to rank the managers. The areas where managers scored the lowest included:
- Prioritizing work so time is spent on most important issues (related to strategy)
- Setting clear expectations with employees (related to strategy)
- Providing feedback on how to improve
- Building teamwork by maximizing the talents of the workgroup
Gallup studied more than 80,000 managers from 400 companies to find out what leadership behaviors are most effective. From that, Gallup identified twelve key behaviors that were most successful. Here are four of those:
- aligning each employee with the mission
- letting employees know what is expected
- tapping into the talents of employee
- talking with the employee about their progress
So how big is this problem?
A Harvard Business Review article in February 2002, “Beware the Busy Manager” summarizes a ten-year management study. The findings were that fully 90% of managers squander their time in all sorts of ineffective activities. In other words, a mere 10% of managers spend their time in a committed, purposeful, and reflective manner.
FranklinCovey found that employees typically only spent 40% of time on productive activities.
Knowledge workers make up 60% of the work force and are by far the organization’s largest investment. Knowledge workers typically give only around 40% of their time on organizational priorities.
Management consultants report that less than ten percent of the business strategies developed get executed.
The fix is an firm where each employee knows what is most important in their being able to make a difference.
About the Author:
David Willden has been an senior executive with top management and technology consulting firms. David is currently President of Breakthrough Practices (http://breakthroughpractices.com), a firm that consults on breakthrough strategies, innovations, and execution. He has founded Strategy-Keys.com (http://strategy-keys.com or http://strategic-planning-resources.com)- a popular site on strategy & execution best practices and insights.