Why You Fire Too Slow

Successful organizations fire too slow!

Part of the reason is that our tolerance of poor performance tends to increase when we win. For example, I would argue that the football player whose performance is mediocre, is more likely to be replaced in the club that wins 20 games a year than in the club that wins the championship.

The club that just won the championship is looking over its roster, finding a 32 year old striker whose performance is mediocre, lacking power and is probably not getting better. What do they do with him?

Had the club finished fifth instead of first the decision would be crystal clear. He would be replaced with a better player. But when the club has won the championship, it has a tendency to say: He is only 32, this is no age in modern football, he also had some good years, and he is still quite reliable defensively. We also won the championship with him in the team last year.

Because it won, the winning team doesnâ’t confront the problem. Instead, it finds excuses for the player. In this way, success tends to lower our standards, and the same is true in business.

The sales person whose performance is mediocre is more likely to be fired and replaced in an organization that does not succeed than in a successful company. For example, I have often wondered why almost no one is ever fired when a company is doing well. It is almost as if successful organizations and teams develop a fear of interfering with the winning formula.

When things go well, we have a tendency to say: “Don’t rock the boat”But in fact this is exactly what you need to do. You should evaluate the need for change with the same urgency as a losing organization does.

Posted on 25th Sep 2013 by Rasmus Ankersen

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