Some companies have well-documented plans in place for highly qualified and experienced people to do the work. In addition, they have well-documented processes and state-of-the-art technology to automate processes, and yet their performance shows signs of stagnation in terms of shrinking market share and declining profitability among others. Several obstacles or roadblocks could bring about this state of affairs. These obstacles are often overlooked by the leadership of the company. The obstacles have to be addressed for the company to achieve its goals and eventually its mission. The key obstacles are discussed in the paragraphs below.
It is extremely difficult to develop and implement a company strategy when some key stakeholders have a negative attitude toward it. The stakeholders may have a deep feeling that the strategy will not work and as such, they are not optimistic about it. The development and implementation of a company’s strategy should first be positively embraced in the mind of the shareholders, directors, management, and staff before it is implemented. The stakeholders should be concerned and seriously thinking about the strategy development and implementation. With a positive state of mind, the stakeholders would be mentally and physically involved in the strategy development resulting in a positive attitude toward its success. The aspect of stakeholders’ negativity toward the achievement of the company’s goals and mission should be identified early enough for the implementation of remedial action. The red flags for the existence of a negative mindset among management employees include a lack of clear company guidelines, giving instructions to employees after working time, people gossiping about each other, poor timekeeping, working overtime, and staff feeling insecure among others.
Ineffective governance structures
Ivey Business Journal
Governance relates to the system of rules, practices, and processes by which a company is effectively managed. This ensures the existence of the right balance of rights and responsibility among its shareholders, board, and management. Right governance structures also ensure that all parties act in the best interest of the company resulting in its faster and safer growth. The red flags of poor governance structures include fraud and scandals, corruption, lack of transparency and accountability, poor company culture, ineffective brand, poor communication, complaints, quality issues, poor performance, and waste of resources among others. Therefore, a company may fail to achieve its goals and eventually the mission because of ineffective governance structures. The red flags include bad decisions, scandals, corruption, poor corporate culture, unresolved conflicts, and lack of transparency among others.
Lack of buy-in from stakeholders
The plan might be the best but fails to work because the buy-in or agreement of employees is lacking. The employees should be fully involved in the strategy development phase. The board and senior management may go ahead and approve the plan but the challenge will come at the implementation level. The employees will not be convinced of the viability of the plan because they were engaged in the development phase. They will give a hundred and one excuses for not implementing the plan. This is so because employees cannot successfully implement a plan in which development they were not involved. The red flags include complaints emanating from leaders, labor turnover, absenteeism in meetings, and declining quality among others.
Lack of support from employees
The employees play an important role in implementing the business plan and policies of a company and interacting with its customers and key stakeholders. They implement the business plan towards the achievement of their mission. They are also a link between the company and customers and other external stakeholders. In addition, the employees receive feedback both positive and negative from key external parties and they are the ones who act on the feedback. It is important, therefore, to obtain their support to act in the best interest of the company.
It is also equally important that the employees are supported by the company in terms of improving their competence and attitude towards the success of the company so that they can walk the extra mile. The red flags include increased costs, labor turnover, staff complaints, and poor staff turn-up for corporate functions among others.
Not meeting the needs of customers
The customers are important to the company because they provide a reason for its existence. The company exists for the key role of attracting, serving, and retaining customers so that they can continuously buy its products and services. Customers are responsible for the revenue of a company. It is important to note that customers come to buy products and services provided they effectively meet their needs.
They will abandon the company as soon as they realize products and services are no longer meeting their needs. The red flags that indicate some danger to the customer base include lack of effective feedback, poor customer service, customer complaints, lack of support from employees, ignoring work being done by the competition in the company’s niche market, and lack of customer experience among others.
Marketing is a process by which a company informs current and potential customers that its products and services or business offerings have a value that meets their needs. The process includes market research, promotion, and selling of products and services. The purpose of marketing is to make customers aware of the products and services of a company to engage them and assist them to make a purchase. It is important to note that the marketing process is managed by the company’s employees hence the need for the employees to appreciate the importance of marketing. Employees represent and advertise a company and its offering both in words and action hence the need to accredit them as brand or company ambassadors so they can positively represent the company to customers and other stakeholders. They need the necessary training and facilities to effectively discharge their duties. Red flags for ineffective marketing include poor customer retention, poor customer care, poor communication, price cuts, lack of consistency in messaging, and unaccredited employees.
Ineffective risk management strategy
Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing, and controlling risks that might affect the capacity of a company to achieve its goals and eventually its mission. Therefore, a company should have a risk management strategy that is a planned approach to managing its risks. The red flags for ineffective risk management strategy include among others lack of monitoring of risks at various levels of governance, reckless risk-taking, lack of effective risk assessment tools, and the risk being ignored in planning and decision-making.
For a company to achieve its goals and eventually its mission, management has to walk the extra mile to ensure the above issues among others are adequately addressed. Having plans, people, processes, and technology in place are just a starting point more has to be done.