Shortcuts save time. But we are tricked into the long way instead. We tiptoe around the direction, rather than go the direction. We are afraid to tell people we might go public OR we might go private OR we might get sold OR we might go under OR we might just stay the same. People want direction. People want to know. We spend more time guessing answers and ducking questions and less time listening and talking to people. When you know the direction, drive the direction. Tell people where you are going and see if they want to go. Then do it. Go. That's the corporate shortcut. Align and go.
Preston the finance guy checks his emails and only responds to people who have money. He spends no time involving people, recruiting different top talent, improving technology or helping people. His actions, decisions and behaviors are about money. Preston has one direction and it's towards money.
It's tempting to buy into Preston's way. More money for a snazzier car. Maybe a swimming pool too. This direction is self-serving and goes nowhere. I'm having trouble thinking of a company (or even a farm) that failed because it spent too much time involving people, recruiting different top talent, improving technology and helping people.
People who take care of people attract more people. Policies and new processes do not. Taking care in people is a shortcut that takes hard work. Chopping a tree is hard work. That is why people choose to not do it. People want a work place where they can be respected and a stage to showcase their talent. Does your culture allow for that? That is the corporate shortcut.
Photo credit: National Library of Scotland