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Nine Common - and Costly - Symptoms of Management Strain

Success – as you already know – brings its own challenges. In the case of a growing software company, those challenges include a whole bunch of “mores”: more clients; more employees; more products; more distribution channels; more cash flow issues; more stuff to worry about.

These may be high-class challenges, but they’re very real. According to Verne Harnish in Mastering the Rockefeller Habits, there are mathematical formulas for complexity that show as you grow from two products, employees or sites to four products, employees or sites, your complexity increases by a factor of 12.

Sooner or later, every growing company reaches the limits of its current way of doing business. Think of this as a rite of passage. When this happens, things begin to go strangely wrong. And that can get expensive.

Here are nine signs that your company may be pushing on or passed the limits of its current management capabilities:

  1. Your revenues are rising but profits are falling.

  2. Your industry is growing faster than you are.

  3. Your industry’s average profit margin is higher than yours.

  4. You’re working harder than ever and getting less out of it.

  5. You authorize an action and nothing happens.

  6. No one argues with you in a management meeting.

  7. Employee turnover is increasing.

  8. Customer complaints are on the rise.

  9. You can’t take a vacation without the place falling apart.

When any or all of these symptoms occur, it’s wise to look at how you manage your company before you throw more money at the problem. Sometimes the “fix” can be beautifully simple.

You don’t have to become an expert on management. In fact it’s probably better that you concentrate on what you’re really good at. But it does help to have a basic understanding.

There are enough management books available to keep you reading from now until the end of time (Amazon lists 674,075). I suggest my clients get their feet wet with The One Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard. It may be nearly as old as some of you, but it’s a quick read and it still works.

If you’re in a hurry, facing a time sensitive problem, or just want to get your company running more smoothly, contact me. I’m happy to try to help.

Until next time,


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