November 16th, 2012

John is nobody’s fool. John age 54 is president & CEO of a multi-million dollar business in manufacturing with just over 150 employees. John knows his products, markets and customers. He demonstrates sound leadership skills, surrounds himself with good people and has a good relationship with the investors. He believes in innovation and is committed to continuous improvement of processes and systems and champions lean manufacturing. John’s management & marketing background at senior levels for several other former companies gives him an excellent perspective in what to do and what not to do.

John also knows he has worked too hard and sacrificed too much over the years to risk the company’s reputation, or his credibility & integrity, employees and customer’s loyalties. His family enjoys the city where they reside and all that it offers. He loves to give of his time to help in community and engages company’s sponsorship in a number of worthy community projects.

John’s intuitive side, in other words his gut tells him something isn’t as it could be in the company. He couldn’t put his finger on it, but something just wasn’t jelling – whether it was the company’s culture, communications, teamwork, or pressure of time restraints getting product to market, or processes. He didn’t know for sure what caused his uneasiness. He did know from his experience and nine years as CEO of the company there could be more harmony, more effectiveness and without intervention this could lead to serious consequences down the road.

At the next management meeting, John started his dialogue with management as to what they may have noticed, if they were sensing the same thing. There response was “there is always room for improvement and they would analyze the processes, check the numbers and talk to their staff”.

At the next senior management meeting John asked for feedback from his managers as to what they found after doing their due diligence. The consensus of senior management is that everything checked out okay and no concerns surfaced that John should be worried about.

Now John was really confused. Are his managers telling what they thought he would want to hear? Are his managers missing something or just protecting their “turf”.

What do you think?

What would you do next if you were John? Tell us what you would do next.

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