9 Warning Signs A Company Is In Trouble


You are at a critical stage of your company. You have been through the growth stages and you are unlikely to have the same entrepreneurial culture as when you started. There are some distinct warning signs that your business might be in trouble. If they apply to you, you are in danger. Here are 9 warning signs your business might be in trouble:

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1. Fuzzy vision

The corporate vision and mission don't inspire people. There's a lack of strategic alignment - people don't know where the organisation is going and what it is trying to achieve in the future.

2. Lack of leadership skills

  • Is there a fear of change?
  • Do leaders lack entrepreneurial spirit?
  • Is the leadership style on the part of management either too directive or too hands-off?
  • Do managers not lead, they just administrate and micromanage?
  • Do you have a weak leadership development program?

3. Discouraging culture

Signs of a discouraging culture can be:

  • no shared values
  • a lack of trust
  • a blame culture
  • a focus on problems, not opportunities
  • people don't have fun at work
  • diversity is not celebrated
  • failures are not tolerated
  • people lose confidence in their leaders and systems.

4. High bureaucracy

Have you ended up with bureaucratic organisational structures with too many layers? Are there high boundaries between management layers? Is decision making slow? Maybe there's too close monitoring of things and subordinates. Or too many tools and documents that discourage creative thinking. Or maybe bureaucracy is just tolerated in your business.

5. Lack of initiative

Poor motivation and encouragement are endemic and people do not feel their contributions make a difference. Management fails to engage the organisation effectively; people work defensively and not creatively, they do their job, and nothing more.

6. Poor vertical communication

People have no clue of the big picture and do not feel that their contributions are important. There's too much uncertainty. People don't know what top managers are thinking and planning.

7. Poor cross-functional collaboration

With this warning sign, there's a functional mindset with a lack of cross-functional goals and cross-functional collaboration spirit. Other signs are a functional, not enterprise-wide business process management, no cross-functional management committees, and a lack of or powerless cross-functional teams.

8. Poor teamwork

  • No organisational commitment to team culture. 
  • A lack of shared and worthwhile goals.
  • Weak team leaders.
  • Team members who don't want to play as part of a team are tolerated.
  • Teams are too large.
  • There's a lack of shared rewards.

9. Poor idea and knowledge management

Cross-pollination of ideas is not facilitated. There are no idea management or knowledge management strategies and systems in place. There's a "know-it-all" attitude or "not invented here" syndrome in place.

Over to you now. Have you seen any of these warning signs in your business? Hopefully not!

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Wednesday, 11 December 2019
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