Have you ever been to a management meeting or company retreat where there seems to be no agreement among attendees on the direction of the company? I bet you have. We have all experienced this far too often.
This isn’t a problem when things are going great, but when growth is stalled or the company isn’t as profitable as it used to be, all of a sudden people start taking sides and sharp rifts appear among the managers. The fight between sales and ops is a perfect example.
Certainly, factors such as a lack of enforcing performance standards, overpaying for talent and poor first-line managers are easy to ignore during good times when everyone is making money. But when the marketplace shifts, everything isn’t as rosy and leadership needs to take charge and direct the team onto the right path. Unfortunately, what frequently happens is a lack of consensus on which path to take, effectively paralyzing the company in terms of forward motion.
When you look at failed businesses in many industries, time after time, companies that were dominant in market share clearly couldn’t adapt to the changing business climate and sold to end their misery. Consider Burger King, Chrysler and RCA — all formerly great companies that have been sold and re-sold many times because their management teams simply couldn’t agree on an effective long-term sales strategy.
In the mortgage industry, we have our own list of companies that have not survived because of internal disagreements or lack of consensus on the path forward.
Today, the single most important issue for mortgage companies is the critical necessity of hiring rookie originators. Within the next five years, companies will be faced with not enough sales talent to compete since current originators will be retiring. Clearly, this lack of talent will be more devastating than all the new regulations put together. Yet, the infighting on who should pay for it, who will run it and who will recruit producers translates into no action being taken or even worse, a poorly run program that is doomed to fail. Rookie programs are an investment in the future that requires a consensus by senior managers.
In my consulting practice, I see senior managers with 20 years left who are eager to address the issue and managers with five years left who don’t won’t to make the investment and jeopardize their current income.
In Steve McKee’s excellent book When Growth Stalls, he lists nine questions all managers should ask because he contends that “if you have a consensus problem, things can’t get better until you recognize it.” If you would like the nine questions, email me at email@example.com<br><br>