So, what came first?

The workforce reduction causing the lack of revenue conversion or the dwindling profits resulting in a reduction in force? Or was the customer to blame after all as their survey responses hit an all-time company low?

How would you rank the cause and effect of these business pains? Does it give you hives just thinking about this conundrum that has existed since the beginning of (business) time?

While I consider myself an expert with my 18 years in global corporate, this chicken and egg situation still applies to these very present pains, businesses experience day in and day out, one reorganization, one merger and one acquisition after another.

And you know what, it does not really matter what came first. Ultimately and unfortunately, the outcome is always the same. People lose their jobs whether they were at fault or not, and from my experience, most of the time, they were not the real cause to the effect that greatly impacted their lives. Nor did it really stop the customer and profit bleeding.

One of the hardest parts in my career as a leader was to fire people. Believe it or not, even if it was based on poor performance. All the same to me, as I always asked myself what it will do to their lives, to the lives of their loved ones and whether there was anything I should and could have done differently.

What made a workforce reduction especially hard was when it was used as a tool to reduce costs, to make up for profit loss and to make nice with the shareholders. Do not get me wrong, I have a realistic grasp of business 101, that businesses are ‘for profit’, and that employees, customers, and yes, shareholders co-create this business ecosystem we call corporate.
But still, it does not make the termination of employees nor the retention of customers any easier.

So why is it, that we see this happening in businesses over and over again.

Why is it, that we always know someone, if not ourselves, that has gone through it perhaps not only once but many times.

Let’s have a look at the challenges that lead to these pain points and how we can actually reverse the course of this impactful outcome. I so wish, I could see your reactions, may it be eye rolling, grunting, hissing or any other verbal or non-verbal cues for that matter, to the challenges I have identified, and you are about to read.

Well alright then, let’s see if the following findings sound in any shape or form familiar to you – drum roll, lights out and curtain up:

  1. Lack of clear communication and collaboration
  2. Lack of consistent and actually S.M.A.R.T. objective
  3. Lack of simple processes

Are you still breathing? Has the color of your face changed? Ok, let’s breathe through this for now as there is more to come and solutions to be delivered.

I have to admit, especially the third challenge is near and dear to my heart.

When did simplicity lose its appeal?

What about such tried, true and tested acronyms like K.I.S.S. (keep it simple and stupid in case you were wondering)?

In part 2 of this blog, I will actually talk about the solutions to set up your business for success – with both, your customers and your employees.


You know things aren’t working, but you aren’t sure why. Inconsistent profits, noticeable churn, or poor customer satisfaction are merely symptoms of busted business operations.
If it’s not properly fixed, you can forget about profit and growth.

You need a guide on your side to turn things around.