The Cost of Waiting

Crossed fingers!A bit of a wait won’t hurt, will it?

With fingers crossed, you rely on luck and hope. Let’s say you’ve decided to defer getting your furnace repaired. “It’ll last another year,” you tell yourself.

It might last, and it might not. Getting it fixed now might cost money and inconvenience (workers in your home, the mess that is made, etc.). Waiting might mean no heat in the dead of winter – and no one available to fix it promptly.

We humans defer a lot of important things. Investing in our retirement. Changing the oil and filter in our car. Apologizing for a mistake. Losing weight. Exercising.

We when we put things off, we hope that things won’t get worse. We might even hope that things will “fix themselves,” without any change or intervention on our part.

That never happens. I never lost weight when I kept eating fatty foods and didn’t exercise!

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What happens when we wait? Logical consequences happen. Logical consequences are things that naturally occur in work and life. If you do (or don’t do) “X” then “Z” naturally occurs. There are good and bad logical consequences.

What is a logical consequence of deferred furnace replacement? You saved money but you froze a couple of nights. Logical consequences of an unhealthy diet? Diabetes, heart trouble, obesity, and worse.

One business issue that is too frequently deferred is dealing with a lousy culture. Business leaders reach out to me because they’ve read my book or my articles, listened to my podcast, or heard me speak. They know their business culture is unhealthy. They’ve tried a number of things but nothing changed. They know they need outside expertise to guide them to a safe, inspiring, productive culture.

My job is to educate leaders on my proven process. My approach outlines specific phases that business leaders must drive. They can’t delegate the responsibility for culture refinement to anyone else.

Most embrace this responsibility. They let me serve as a behind-the-scenes coach so they can define, live, and enjoy their desired culture. Engagement, service, and results grow.

I’m unable to inspire some leaders. One or two potential clients a year learn what’s required and say, “No, thanks.” Most decide to wait.

What are the logical consequences of allowing an unhealthy business culture to continue, unabated? Trust, respect, and dignity continue to erode – between leaders, team members, peers, and customers. Vital information is withheld. An “I win, you lose” environment means that money is left on the table; the few with the best information win, while many others fall short. Results are inconsistent.

Getting things done right in that unhealthy culture takes time, energy, and patience. It’s exhausting – not exhilarating.

Waiting to refine a bent – or broken – organizational culture allows the difficulties to continue, to deepen, to become even more entrenched.

That’s no way to run a business.

Our best bosses figured out ways to ensure our team environment was healthy, inspiring, safe, and productive. There is no reason for you to wait to fix yours.

How healthy is your business culture? What are the strongest features of your culture today – and which are the most frustrating for you? Share your insights on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Photo © djoronimo – Dollar Photo Club. All rights reserved.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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