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The Business Cogs (Part 1)


To many cogs spoil the broth..

We all know that cogs exist within large and small organisations and that those cogs can play a very important part in the development and progression of a performing business.

Cogs are great and when well-oiled can contribute to a system that is infectious, benchmarked and leading in a field of excellence.

The resources pull together to establish balance and harmony, whether the senior management, the culture, finance, Facilities, HR etc.. Why wouldn’t we work together to fulfil a good working system that stabilises the future, our future. Extrinsic thinking promotes a heathy environment.

So the cogs turn…

However to many cogs may spoil the productivity of future growth. How? why? We have all been to meeting after meeting where we may question the productivity of the outcome, if there was an outcome or maybe the outcome was another meeting.

Unfortunately I have witnessed a system so full of cogs that there is no more room for the machine (organisation) to turn. It is suffocated. It has slowly come to a grinding stop and jammed. This then turns to firefighting. Committees are set up to oversee other committees. Finance is overhauled and regulated with form after form that gets lost in the system. Visions are invented to keep the trend and the culture loses faith, morale drops and so on.

Take a business case that needs to be addressed, because to progress - a resource is needed to evolve and advance that department, to cement the future, Simply put, growth. This allows a more substantial income, sustains morale, secures contracts etc.

The manager gathers the correct information to make an accurate decision. Data is collected, interpreted and formatted into the business case in a clear, concise format which is communicated, is understandable and clear. A experienced manager and a trusted manager will be able to do this. This is their profession.

So how many configured meetings which are full of people and different people at each meeting should this business case have to go through to get to the point of approval? Well you can answer that one.

What I would say is; that if there are so many cogs that the business case is submitted to and discussed time and time again without conclusion, then the input and dedication is lost. This creates a dangerous place to put any staff member.

Is there a cure? Well the truth is you might not be able to impact the organisation on your own, that may be like opening the door to the machine room and just seeing a complete jam of cogs, top to bottom, side to side. Bureaucracy, politics etc. at that moment you would feel panic, at a loss and want to run.