This week’s focus: Leadership Innovation

You know your company is plagued with big company syndrome when:

1. There is little or no sense of urgency.

2. The smallest unit of time is 1 year.

3. If it can’t be done in a year, allow 2 years or maybe 3.

4. There is always next week, next quarter, next year, next decade.

5. Incrementalism is favored over actions that move the needle for the business.

6. You study, analyze, and ponder for years without solving well-known problems.

7. You invest huge amounts of capital on information technology to solve a problem that no one can articulate well.

8. You are more concerned about getting to a perfect solution than rapidly implementing a solution that might be ‘good enough’.

9. Decisions can only be made at the highest levels of management.

10. People have little faith that their ideas are valued when senior management consistently overturns the recommendations of people on the front lines.

11. Your people think they are part of a team with well-defined roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities for each member when, in reality, they are part of a committee with poorly defined roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities. [What if a professional baseball or football team played like a committee rather than a team?]

12. Smaller, more agile competitors are running circles around you but you believe they’ll never be a threat.

13. Your leadership is internally-focused with a passion for revenues, margins, market share, stock price and continually fixing what is wrong about the business but has no real passion for the business they are in, e.g., the products, the customers, driving innovation, etc.

14. Employees and customers feel as though they are treated with indifference.

15. Employees are risk-averse and cling to the status quo.

I don’t see how a company suffering from big company syndrome can thrive. Do you?

Thought for the week:

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit at the typewriter and bleed.” Ernest Hemingway


Dave Gardner

Dave Gardner is a management consultant, speaker, blogger and author based in Silicon Valley. He's been in the front row for the birth and evolution of Silicon Valley, the innovation capital of the world. Since 1992, Dave Gardner has focused on making the complex simple around people, process and technology. He can be reached through his website, www.DaveGardner.biz, or via phone at +1 408-475-7068.

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