You or your organization may be plateaued if…
- If people don’t take responsibility for current realities.
We have already seen how people in a plateaued organization tend to blame others for their collective inability to move forward, but there’s a deeper, and perhaps less obvious, indicator of plateau in many of their conversations. In plateaued organizations, people do not do what they could do because they are expecting the solutions to come from elsewhere.
Often these friends take a new idea or a necessary decision and make it more difficult by loading down the moment and the conversation with larger issues—one’s they aren’t expected to solve. So, the moment of decision is overwhelmed by reasoning that focuses on what the board of directors, the pastor, the marketing department, or some other group that’s not in the room needs to do. Inaction continues by making every issue something bigger than my portfolio or pay grade. If you have discussions that end with something someone else needs to do, you’re likely in a plateaued organization.
Folks in plateaued organizations also tend to blame the past, or the changing marketplace, or, again, something or somebody that’s not in the room or not within their authority for the difficulties. Never mind that we were in the same marketplace or had the same production team back when we were winning. It’s just that back then, folks saw it as their jobs to find solutions and do what they could to move us forward.
Sure, there are times when the answers must come from areas beyond my responsibility, but if I tend to look more at what others need to do than I look at the difference I can make, we are probably a plateaued organization, and we’re showing little likelihood of changing that reality. Truth is, plateaus are seldom caused or resolved by a single entity in the organization. Instead, when we each roll up our sleeves looking to make a difference, we can often find solutions together.
Organizations that break out of plateaus do so with creative solutions offered by people determined to do their part. If you’re convinced that someone else’s part is the key to your organization’s turnaround, you may be part of the problem.