Saturday, September 20, 2008

Corporate "Bulimia" Or "Anorexia" Is No Way To Keep A Company "Lean & Mean"

"Competing" Disorders Can Harm The Business

By David Miranda

In an effort to get or remain thin, some people go to extremes by developing eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia. We all know the devastating impact either of these maladies have on the human body. We all know there is no simple way to be thin (and healthy). It takes a regimen of a healthy diet and regular exercise.

Such is the case in business. Typically in an economic slowdown, businesses seek to shed "excess fat" in the organization to make the organization "lean and mean". Although this is a commendable (and necessary) effort, too many go about it the wrong way and develop "competing disorders", i.e. corporate bulimia or anorexia.

Corporate bulimia occurs when a firm decides to "purge" internal employees from the org chart in favor of out-sourcing to third parties. On the surface, there is nothing wrong with that, but sometimes critical departments are affected, say customer service. This is where reducing costs, unwisely, takes precedent over the health of the organization. In this case, this purging leaves the firm, not stronger, but weaker. Purging customer service is a "bulimic" practice.

Corporate anoxexia is just as problematic. Here companies believe they can do more and more with less and less. They "starve" the company, i.e. "what is the very minimum we need to keep the company going?" A company cannot "starve" themselves to success.

Take a healthy approach to business. Avoid taking short cuts to success. Feed success and exercise your brains in making good decisions our your firm will be "The Biggest Loser."