Business decisions are predicated on the belief – though really more the fingers-crossed, knock-wood hope – that all the players involved will behave like rational human beings who will do the best necessary for the benefit of the business. Unfortunately, reality looks more like this:
- Forming a financially advantageous alliance with an outside company ==> a crushing morass of infighting and power plays;
- Promoting a star player to running a division ==> productivity loss and an employee exodus and maybe even a harassment lawsuit due to the star player turning out to be a terrible leader;
- Selecting key Board members to maximize the company’s success ==> a Board where the CEO is pulling teeth to get anything done because everyone on the Board winds up focused on self-interest rather than company’s interest and no one can agree;
- Instituting a new motivational strategy for a sales team ==> unmotivated and resentful employees due to a series of unexpected consequences stemming from the new strategy;
- In other words: <insert good business idea here> ==> <insert unexpected way people submarine that idea here>.
The problem is that there’s an enormous chasm between coming up with a brilliant business strategy and implementing that strategy with the people you have.
For many leaders, while the business side is clear and energizing, the people component often feels like a mushy, amorphous butterfly effect where there’s no direct line from input to output, e.g. if you knew that firing Paul, promoting Mary to COO, letting Sam and Alice but not Jack work from home, and yelling at Susan twice a day would raise profits by 20%, you’d do it. But because links such as those are never clear, it seems easier to assume that the costs to your business will be the same no matter what and just ignore it all.
On top of which, even if you do see the path, it can all feel very eye-rollingly irritating to have to deal with these problems, let alone imagine that this petty people stuff is a black hole sucking the profits out of your business. As a consequence, many leaders tend to ignore the people component, discount its financial cost, assume it’s just the way it is, and hope everything will be fine.
But hope is not a management strategy, and turning a blind eye to the costs associated with the people component isn’t the same as that component costing nothing.
Social Intelligence Strategizing (SIS), the core tool of SLI Advisors, provides solutions to prevent the “soft” interpersonal problems from devouring – like acid eating through metal or water forming the Grand Canyon – the “hard” bottom line. Anywhere groups of people are working together, SIS can help, and it’s of particular relevance to corporate boards and to industries such as venture capital, biotech, pharma, and entertainment where disparate groups and individuals with their equally disparate intentions need to be pulled together into a functional and profitable alliance.
Feel free to contact us for more information at [email protected] as it’s our belief that, while people can assuredly sink your business, those exact same people, with a little help, can make it soar as well.