Every February, businesses in India wait with bated breath for the country’s finance minister to announce the Union Budget. All major decisions – investment, expansion, diversification – come to a standstill as business leaders play the budget guessing game. Will taxes go up or down? Will new concessions be announced?
During a consulting engagement at a $50 billion conglomerate, I spoke with a young man who was worried about a potential project overrun. I asked if he had hit a stumbling block. “It really isn’t a big deal —I know we have the in-house expertise to solve this,” he said. “I just need to rope in some colleagues from another team.” “So what’s the problem?” I asked.
On a chilly Paris morning some years ago, I was talking to a group of young managers about building high-performance teams. As our conversation progressed, I asked them why they hadn’t already executed some of the ideas we had been talking about. I was completely taken aback by the response: Most blamed their bosses for their inertia.
The need for transformation has never before been more keenly felt in the corporate world.
A fellow business leader complained the other day that although he had repeatedly sought feedback, his team had never told him what they really thought about his management style. We’ve been friends for a long time, so I asked: “Do you want feedback so you can do something with it? Or are you asking only because you think that’s the right thing to do?”