How do you recognize a sick person? Pale skin, dull eyes. The sick person is preoccupied only with himself/herself. Loud wailing or silence. The strength is fading. Everything seems to be fighting against each other from within or has resigned. Perception of symptoms, pain, but often unclear cause. There is little communication and if there is, talking about the pain. The entire body is vulnerable and powerless.
An ill person is not very attractive to others. People intuitively keep their distance so as not to become infected, not to have to endure the wailing and the sad sight.
In a sick company, the signs are similar. Some symptoms of susceptible companies are: Employees take too little responsibility. Top performers leave and new ones do not follow. Hybrid working does not work. Working by the book and stagnant innovation. Disrupted supply chains. Departments work against each other instead of with each other. Heaps of blind and faulty work. Sickness rates are through the roof. People talk about each other, but not enough with each other. Conflicts multiply. Sales stagnate. Profits are dwindling.
In business, as with illness, death rarely comes quickly. Mostly there is a longer period of sickening. Maybe everything is not so bad? Things aren’t going the way they used to, but they’re still going. Maybe a miracle will happen? The customers come back, the competition makes mistakes, new markets emerge, politics creates better conditions… Hope dies last.
A man prayed every day that he might win the lottery. He prayed fervently, several times a day, for many months. At some point, the Lord could no longer stand by and said to his angel, “Please tell him to finally buy a lottery ticket!” In fact, miracles usually only happen when you earn them yourself.
Sometimes even a pill helps against the pain. In companies, sometimes a meeting, an announcement or a small change helps and the problem is solved. But if the problem lies deeper, the pill does not help or does not help sustainably. Is it perhaps not the head that is the problem, but the molar? Or the tense neck? Or is the medication no longer working and, at higher doses, perhaps even toxic?
In medicine, one seeks advice from specialists, the doctors, who ideally have the right medication or the right therapy. A good doctor takes a good medical history to find the trigger(s) for the pain. A sick person can only treat himself/herself to a limited extent. Often one cannot see the obvious: If you’re in the bottle, you can’t read the label.
It is not so easy to find the right doctor. Do we need a general practitioner, surgeon, orthopedist or dentist? Of course, the patient needs to deal with his or her illness, because it usually doesn’t go away on its own. And the patient cannot completely relinquish responsibility for his or her recovery. Often it is beloved habits that must be let go of, like the milk, the cigarette or the lack of exercise. Sometimes it’s the daily routine that makes you sick. Sometimes the harmful influences come from outside. The patient must cooperate, reflect on the problem and the harmful influences, and usually needs professional support to do so. The realization must then mature in the patient him/herself in order to be able to lead a sustainably healthy life in the future.
The following applies: Envy must be earned, only pity is given as a gift.
Is your company susceptible or even already ill? You can recognize this by the symptoms. It will become healthy and future-proof if you deal intensively with solutions and if the right questions lead you to find the solutions yourself.
In order to maintain the future viability of companies, taking care of communication, innovation and employer attractiveness in a timely manner with foresight is much better than having to heal hardened problems. For this, too, companies need professional external support from time to time with a view from outside.