Business Profiles by Sampsonhall

The relationship between employees and employer changes and often the employee comes to the point of “do I stay or do I go”. Even an amazing employee, who works hard, follows up on issues to resolve them, works diligently with other teams to fix the issues so they do not happen again, and who mentors others successfully can have their doubts about their role and the organisation they work for.

Start-ups or a newer company’s ideal employee thrives in an ever-changing environment.  They still need mental stimulation and new learning.  However larger companies require stability and consistency in their workforce and not the professional work ethic or bulldog approach which is often considered “troublesome”. It ruffles too many feathers of those trying to use politics to grow a team and creates turbulence where it is not desired or welcome.

Company values and cultures have to be understood and match the personal values of their staff if the organisation is to become a high performing one where talent flourishes and initiative drives performance. It is the difference between the plantation and the jungle. The plantation is where the big organisations thrive whilst the jungle is the playgrounds of the hungrier, smaller and less mature organisations roam.

Plantation is a place of order and control it is the “red ocean” filled with sharks biting chunks off each other.  Where organisations actively compete against each other and where price is the dominant factor. Just think about the world of the supermarkets. The jungle is much more about instinct and innovation, it is the “Blue Ocean” where an organisation can swim freely and think cleverly, where failure is accepted and controls are loose and people are free to innovate and experiment. Think of the Apple story and you have the example. The only problem is success inevitably brings with it the sharks.

Why do organisations turn from being lean mean and efficient “blue ocean” organisations into fat more cumbersome corporations who bully and fight their way through business? And what are the tell-tale signs that high performing organisations are becoming over bureaucratic corporate slugs:

  • The leadership is “bored” with anything outside of sales.  The company is not focused on putting the customer first and employees’ next and sharing success with the entire organisation as it builds its own value.


  • Lack of alignment across all departments – not all groups have the same focus. Products take precedence over customer issues. The mission states one thing (Customers are top priority), but decisions and actions speak another. Which is it? Just be honest and let’s send truthful the message. Truth comes before trust so if we want loyalty and honesty amongst staff but we have to be honest to earn it!


  • Dynamics – those employees at the “doer” level get it all done. They all work together nicely. Leadership is hell bent on building walls to “define” roles and responsibilities and systems to drive efficiencies. Leadership doesn’t know what is going on – they DO NOT trust those in the front line to determine the best way to work they demand visibility and control. And they don’t ask. It’s as if the workers don’t exist… and the leaders are the only ones who know best. So the decisions being made and the path being defined forward is not necessarily in line with what is actually needed.

SO, given all of this, the question each member of staff poses themselves is:

  • What is it going to take to be successful here?
  • I know who I am but how can I best apply my work ethic, my knowledge, my desire to provide in this environment?
  • Is it best help our customers, work better as a team and bring value into the business to make it high performing?
  • Why therefore am I *failing?
  • Is it unrealistic expectations, lack of leadership, mis-aligned goals – company and divisional?

*Failing is defined as – I’m too stressed, working too much, carrying out nugatory work, trying to overcome the challenges above. “At the end of the day, I cannot do it alone, and there is no one backing me up. My heart wants to help my customers… I have established very close relationships with my customers and I would do anything within my (and the company’s means) to do so…. but I cannot do it myself.”

The decision comes down to “Do I make a difference, am I contributing to something worthwhile?” I’ve concluded that I do not and I am not. Not because I don’t want to, but because there is too much “bureaucracy” in my way to do so. If I can’t help make the organisation more successful and I don’t feel valued, my only option is to seek different employment, where the company’s mission, goals, objectives are closer to my own.

Are you losing too many good people? Is your organisation a high performing one? Could it deliver more to the bottom line through an engaged staff who are motivated?

Business Profiles Gordian Model is an online assessment undertaken by staff across a business. It starts with the collection and analysis of quantitative and qualitative information drawn from right across the whole organisation, allowing companies to rapidly expose opportunities, measure progress and assess culture and mood.

If you want to know more ask about our Gordian model or give us a call on 0844 848 9594