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When Management won’t talk! Are you scared?

When management won’t speak openly about problems they have, the business suffers and the executive don’t know.

This amazes me! Or should I say this scares me! I am not sure which word describes it best.

People have spent years carving their way up the management chain; yet more often than not there is no will within middle and senior management to accurately address identified issues, specifically around governance, productivity and security issues. I cannot work my head around it. Why will you not act? Make a decision? Start doing your job!

IN these cases the business will always continue to suffer and I have seen this first-hand; in fact just two weeks ago. It haunts me still.

Let me begin; picture it – Cape Town, South Africa and our team has just finished the report back to a prospective customer after we did a FREE-OF-CHARGE Proof of Concept (POC). The prospective customer is well known and prominent. Prominent is size, not in reputation.

As background, we ran a very short two week POC on roughly 10% of their end-user base and the results were astounding. Astonishing even. By showing real end user activity and with very basic analytics we could immediately identify massive gaps not only in security processes being flouted but we saw even bigger gaps in productivity.

There are too many transgressions to speak of in this post so I will highlight one specific area where I could see us providing the insight to change the entire business reputation and even profitability.

We encountered the largest collection of pirated movies, TV and music we have seen in the last 10 years (on only 10% of the user base) and noted clearly that several customer facing senior service-desk employees were spending more time working with and sorting the massive collection of pirated content and also setting up media and sharing servers internally than they did in their helpdesk application resolving customer problems. The customers were left hanging as they continued on with their illegal content sorting and sharing. This prospect by the way is renowned for poor customer service levels.

It was as clear as day and addressing the problem would have been one of the simplest methods in history to completely turn the business around. I am completely certain with the visibility we provided they would be able to do 5 times as much without increasing staff overheads; this would make their cost to service lower and improve profitability and customer perception. We showed them how easy it was to leverage data to make a REAL difference to the bottom line of the business.

I was excited and was looking forward to being a small part in this cataclysmic transformation. I was excited to hear the joy from their management as they were just as happy that they could make the change and show the rest of the business how amazing they were.……

That is what I would have done anyway.

The middle and senior managers in our meeting made a decision which is confusing me still. They chose to do nothing. They chose to keep quiet and they have chosen to not improve the business. The results could have been amazing, they could have made a real impact but instead they have decided to do nothing.

-          How is it that a person in a position of responsibility chooses not to improve?

-          How do they choose to keep the business at the bottom end of every customer satisfaction survey?

-          How can they justify keeping quiet?

What about the shareholders, is there no responsibility to those invested in the business for it to perform at its best?

What could they be scared of?  

Maybe you know, please help me…. 


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