Sometimes Its More Work Doing Nothing…

Cost of doing nothing

I am often surprised how much hard work some people put into not doing anything. So much so that you would think it would be easier, i.e. less work, to actually get on with the job than to not do it.

This is a malaise I often see with service providers, especially on accounts where they are losing money. They lose interest and get involved in delaying tactics, writing documents with so many caveats that they are unacceptable.

I find it impossible to believe that it wouldn’t be both better and easier to get on with a job and to do is successfully than it is to work harder not doing it. Where is the motivation and job satisfaction, in working against doing a job rather than doing it.

I experienced this first had myself when I worked for a supplier on an fixed price project where we had spent all of the revenue, but still had at least 12-18 months work remaining to complete the project.

Our company decided to do the bare minimum, and many of the resources were pulled off of the project onto other accounts where we received revenue. Whilst this seemed like a good approach to get revenue for resources, what it did do was to significantly increase the cost of the remaining work on our fixed price project, and our overall loss.

What would have been a better approach, in my opinion, would have been to complete the work as quickly as possible and keeping our losses to a minimum. Rather than stringing things out and creating a bigger loss, a demotivated team and an irate customer.

Having irate customers and demotivated teams doesn’t seem like a winning formula, but you would be surprised how many companies, especially suppliers, end up in this situation.

This is why creating Win Win situations are important, whenever you end up with a Win Lose scenario it always ultimately ends up as a Lose Lose.

Suppliers making a loss, the customer irate and the teams involved on both sides demotivated.

When ever we find ourselves in these situations, which feel a bit like a stalemate, someone has to take the first step to look to coming up with a solution, a move back to a Win Win situation.

More often than not though, the Customer blames the situation on the supplier, and decides to go through another round of selecting a new supplier to provide the service.

If the lessons of the first go round are not learnt, and a Win Win relationship set up with the new supplier, than all that had happened is we have traded one bad situation for a temporary rest bite, before another bad situation sets in.

Have you eve been in a situation like this, where the relationship with the supplier has deteriorated so much, but it has only replaced by another similar relationship.

Gordon Tredgold

Leadership Principles