NATO

January 31, 2007

I’m not talking about the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Wiki) that you know.

In everyday management we have a lot of these especially those that suffer from Mid-Life crisis.

What is Mid-Life crisis for companies? If a company is 40 years old it’s actual age is more than that. Of course it depends on the type of company also. If it was a startup 40 years ago and has been in dictatorship since then surely it suffers from this crisis. Another key feature of this type of company is the age, background, freshness of the senior management or the members of the board. This information is normally in the public domain if the company is listed.

What happens to a company if it suffers from mid-life crisis? Well it’s more or less like me I guess. I felt lost, lack of energy mentally, in search of satisfaction but didn’t know where to look and most serious of all is the sense of insecurity.

To cure is to start again. For me it was to start learning as an expert beginner (read from Jim Collins book), meeting new friends, trying new things (e.g. raising a kid or learn to play piano) in order to refresh/recharge/rebuild/resurrect oneself.

This isn’t easy for a company especially those large ones. I’m just a piece of wire that is out of tune. A company is a Grand Concert Piano with 88 keys that needs tuning. The difficult part is tuning while music goes on. Guess who’s playing same old tune all these years?

It was said that “…you can only tune a piano if it’s in tune….”. This is very true for a large corporation where it is so tightly interwoven internally, system so rigidly accustomed to, stone age mindset uncrackable and most damaging of all is “…what good does it do for me from the change…”.

Change management in companies that suffer from mid-life crisis are ending up in a NATO = “No Action Talk Only”.

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