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Taking it on the Chin

Optimize Blog - April 16, 2012 - 0 comments

Did you know that chin implants are the fastest growing type of cosmetic procedure in the US? According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) 20,680 operations were carried out in 2011, a 71% increase since 2010.
The ASPS represents 7,000 surgeons in the US. Its president, Malcolm Roth, said: “People are considering chin augmentation as a way to restore their youthful look, just like a facelift.”
In the corporate world facelifts are also prevalent with companies undertaking cosmetic surgery to mask underlying issues or problems. Cosmetic surgery however never delivers the results required and companies, like people, often times look rather strange with obvious surgically enhanced features.
Equally with companies as with people, few ever point out that the facelift is rather obvious and that it is doing little to mask the flaws that exist underneath. As Management Consultants it is our job to provide this insight and it is not always what the client wants to hear but nevertheless we would be negligent if we did not provide an objective assessment.
So what do some of these corporate facelifts look like? Perhaps it’s a new logo, a new marketing strap line, a cost saving drive, a restructure or the purchase of another company. None of these things help if there is no clear vision and strategy and none of these things help if the root causes of the company problems are not fully understood and acted upon appropriately by the leadership team. Cosmetic solutions simply cover up larger issues.
When trying to change an organization it is worth remembering that 70% of change initiatives end in failure. More often than not, what ends up happening is the organization only has the “stomach” for the first part of the change. It is as if they believe that by just doing something like a restructuring of the organization that somehow magically all problems will be solved. Unfortunately this is the equivalent of just getting half a facelift.
Of course, getting half of the facelift is a bit silly and makes no sense and yet, the equivalent to this phenomenon occurs regularly in organizations.
It is better to look in other areas or figure out other ways to improve performance than to launch an organizational change or some other form of cosmetic facelift that you’re only going to be able to start but never complete.
There are literally hundreds of small process tweaks that can be found to make incremental changes. Focus on these and particularly those that create the most pressing issues in the ability to deliver on the corporate goals.
Without completing all components of a change program, organizational inertia will likely pull people and teams back to the way they used to act therefore achieving nothing.
Take it on the chin – understand the corporate and organizational flaws and deliver on the fundamentals rather than what looks good on the surface but does nothing to address the core issues.

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