I recently heard someone in the c-suite of a company say that a key business development strategy hadn’t been launched because nobody told him to do it. I was shocked.
Why is he waiting—and by whom—to be told? Is this laziness or a symptom of something else?
A “nobody told me” excuse at any level of an organization could be one indication of a sick culture. It means that one or more of these obstacles are in play:
- lack of a clearly defined mission and purpose
- multiple silos and turf wars exist between departments
- there’s a staffer who withholds information to wield power
- employees aren’t given proper training and guiding procedures
- employees aren’t trusted and allowed to bring their best selves to the job
- poor or hasty decisions have led to lazy hiring practices
- there’s no follow up after action steps have been established (nobody “owns” any of the actions)
- employees at all levels (even leaders) have a “that’s not my job” attitude
- good leadership isn’t modeled from the top
- the board of directors isn’t paying attention and holding leadership to the brand standard
- someone is “going rogue”
A prevalent “nobody told me” attitude means your brand is nothing but a thin facade. It means customers aren’t getting good service, innovation is lagging and great employees are on the lookout for greener pastures.
Listen now. Listen through all levels of your organization (including yourself). If you hear “nobody told me,” take immediate steps to remedy the situation. The life of your brand depends on it.
Martha Bartlett Piland
President + CEO of MB Piland Advertising + Marketing