Over the past 20 years, my main focus has been to turn around lack luster sales and marketing organizations. I have done so over 50 times, and one of the most common phrases I hear from clients is: “It is what it is!”

I have found that when clients use that statement they are saying one or more of the following:

  • They have no control over the current situation and don’t see how things will change.
  • Their situation is too difficult to change and they don’t want to spend the time, energy or resources required to make improvements.
  • The organization is very political and “rocking the boat” is not an option.

In short, the company or team has become complacent. Complacency leads to stagnation. That’s when I’m brought in, to figure out what is happening and to get the team back on track.

Complacency is like a cancer: it can hit fast and without warning. Morale tends to tank and numbers and goals are missed.

Here is what I recommend to cure your company of the complacency disease:

  1. Use a survey to ask your customers and your team how the company is performing  in the following areas:
    – Sales
    – Marketing
    – Customer Service
    – Innovation
  2. Compare the results of the two surveys to find issues and gaps.

Be fearless.  Use the survey to get to the heart of your company’s complacency and lackluster results.  Take the responses seriously.  Make a plan for addressing the challenges, focusing on the most impactful issues first.

When I am tasked with a turn-around situation, I survey every group and review every process that I believe to be important.  I also get customers’ perspectives. The information provides me a way to diagnose the problem and to find a cure.

I recommend that these surveys are done quarterly.  This is a great feedback mechanism and will provide valuable insights, as you turn your company from a complacent organization to a high performance organization.