Pulling The Plug
QUESTION FROM: Randy in South Dakota
“As a member of large corporate launch & integration teams, then over a decade as someone who started the day by asking "what can we do better" in my own business; I witnessed first hand the ups & downs of one step forward, two steps back. How do you know when to pull the plug on a process change or improvement you just knew would work, but it didn't. It's one of the hardest decisions leaders make. Actually, it's the second, since admitting you were wrong is most likely first. How much time will you give your change before you pull it back, tweak it or scrap it all together?”
This ability, to read and react efficiently, must be built into the business early on by having an awareness of “Confirmation Bias” paired with a mutual respect for every team member, a genuine appreciation of their unique perspectives and a commitment to revisit / re-evaluate operations regularly.
Determining the length of time you give each failing process… or process that has yet to prove itself - depends upon a myriad of factors including: extended cost, margins, employee impact & perception, guest impact & perception, technology required to sustain, facility impact and ancillary impacts that touch other areas of the operation including but limited to: ancillary revenue centers, the brand as a whole, other outlets or future planned outlets, short and long term plans, vendors, neighboring businesses, the community of which you are a part, etc...
Grow your team methodically or take time to establish a collaborative culture statement to get you all on track. Although starting out with a long-view approach is best, it's never too late to back build integral pieces of framework and establish new policies and procedures like monthly or quarterly reviews with your teams.