Every summer, as the temperature rises to the triple digits here in the high desert, my wife threatens to pull out the green lawn paint to cover over the yellow, bone dry patches in our front lawn. Not wanting to be exposed to my neighbors as incapable of growing healthy green turf, I protest and double the watering of my pathetic hardpan.
Many organizations find themselves doing the same thing. They sell into markets that drain company resources or employ the Peter Principle by promoting employees until they are no longer competent. Or they suffer, year after year, waiting for that in-house packaging project that can’t deliver a splatter-free yogurt lid as promised.
Is the problem currently plaguing your organization the parched lawn that could use less lawn paint and more xeriscaping? Think about your approach to the challenge at every possible perspective to determine all potential remedies. Instead of promoting the brilliant but narcissistic marketing specialist into management where she’ll crush department morale, try adding more lateral responsibilities with an expanded title to keep her happy and her colleagues from chasing career opportunities elsewhere.
If your inbound marketing project can’t get its feet off the ground, don’t be afraid to consider outsourcing that service to a group of experts who think about social media for a living. Taking that different approach could save you time, aggravation and money.
Whether you are working alone or in a team, take time to list all your assumptions based around your organization’s decisions to achieve a goal or solve a problem. Then list the assumptions for not taking an alternate strategy. Challenge all of them. Who says your company has to promote vertically or keep certain services in-house? Outsourcing might help to reduce your overhead costs. Often, the answer is that “We’ve always done it this way”, which is comforting to company veterans but kills off opportunities for growth. Next time you waste time and money to water your organization’s version of hardscrabble, consider planting a flowering cactus.