This week I will talk about time – an appropriate time span to hold a position. I have just studied a survey that showed the relationship between the tenure of a leadership or management position and the quality of results from an organization. It showed that when a new tenure is started for a position – the results increase and have their peak after around four and half to five years. After that, the results diminish and are often reduced back to the starting levels or sometimes even lower than they were in the beginning.
Looking closer into the survey I can see that the holder of the Leadership or Management position starts their tenure with the intention of increasing the value for the customer. They tend to see the direct connection between the organization’s results and the satisfaction of the customer.
After some years however, they tend to be more and more be sucked in and preoccupied by the organization’s internal issues. They start to focus more on the internal issues than on the customer. This also means that when the leaders’ focus shifts from the customers and the value created for them, to the internal issues, the rest of the organization follows. The results take a hit and are diminished year by the year.
As I see it, this differs depending on what form of organization you have. All organizations have internal issues, but some have more than others. The common structure of organization is the Line Organization where people are divided into different hierarchical layers, with several bosses one above the other. That structure also tends to have a very silo-like view of the world, from the top to the bottom. In that structure there also tends to be a lot of internal issues, as the organizations in a sense start to live a life of their own. When you do not fully focus on the customer, you have got time to focus on other issues, mostly of an introverted nature.
If an organization is built on processes, you have a natural focus on the customer. Well designed and well built processes always focus on the customer! (If you want to know how, click here). If an organization has this structure instead of the old hierarchical one, then I believe that there are not as many internal issues to be sucked into for a leader or manager. They can continue to focus on creating value for the customers and making the organization’s productive time last longer.
It is never good to be stuck in one place for too long anyway, so make sure that you as a leader or manager do not sit in that chair for too long. Your strong desire to deliver value may start to flag.
Please share and comment.