Our Version Of The Newspaper Silly Season

By | August 10, 2007

We thought you might enjoy some stories we’ve heard over the last 12 months as to why business targets haven’t been met, smile inducing unless you are paying the wages:

  • A Japanese owned UK sales office has used the floods as a reason why there numbers will be poor in July. Sounds reasonable until you realise they are based in Northern Ireland and 90% of their business is done on the island of Ireland.
  • A call centre person who was running their own ebay business from the work PC, used it as an excuse in their appraisal as to why their numbers were down.
  • The order was lost in cyberspace, which is the modern equivalent to being lost in the post and the adult version of my dog ate my homework.
  • The sales director who built a complex financial model showing the interdependencies of over a dozen finely weighted factors that explained why the business was suffering. When his CEO asked him what the strategy was to correct the trend line, the SD replied by saying that was part two of his research that he hadn’t yet started. He was able to think very deeply about this whilst on his garden leave.
  • The salesperson who was down on target on a formal Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) and coming up to a quarter end still behind the numbers, who booked a days holiday to go to the races and was off sick the following day due to excessive alcohol consumption. At their review meeting (after again missing target) he told his manager, ’everybody needs some relaxation time’.
  • The struggling MD who told the whole company by email that unless performance improved heads would roll and it wouldn’t be his. (His chairman contradicted the last part).
  • The CEO with a dysfunctional board who ‘doesn’t do conflict’. Every other director wishes she did.
  • And finally there’s the more boring standard set of reasons for business difficulties of which the most common are; the weather, economy, lunatic competition, globalisation, government policies, difficult customers, pricing/cost issues and changing demand patterns.

We’ll leave you to decide how much truth is being spoken and how effectively people are trying not to explain the problems but to transcend them.

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