Conflict & Apathy

Find me a mature small business that is immune to the occasional underperforming year of operations. 

You can’t.

Clients come and go, staffs turn over periodically, and an unpredictable economy can swing the pendulum of productivity in one direction or another at any given moment. Bad years happen. 

The best we can do coming out of these times is to reflect on the factors in play, and vow not to once again make the mistakes that decorate our past. 

When I consider the least productive years in my business, I notice a trend of unremarkable staff meetings. I notice a trend of under-attended team outings. And, most surprising to me in this post-mortem performance review activity, is the distinct lack of fires that I found myself putting out in our day-to-day operations.

In hindsight, we were a collection of professionals delivering the bare minimum of a service as it was described in the marketing materials, and not an ounce of creativity more. It was in these years that the team was disengaged from the culture we historically enjoyed when at our best, and not inspired enough to voice concerns about it. 

While a whole lot of chaos in your operation is an untenable environment in the long-term, a complete lack of it can be similarly disconcerting. 

The absence of conflict is not harmony…it’s apathy, and apathy will quietly kill your business.

-Pete

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