Every organization has what I call “screaming children” – those issues which demand attention. It is, of course, human nature, to want to tend to the child who is screaming the loudest. However, practically speaking, addressing that issue may not be the most strategic move for the organization. That issue (the screaming child) may, in effect, go away (fall asleep) if simply left alone. Or, you may discover that one child is merely screaming because another child is not playing fair, and your efforts are best directed at the other child.
For example, if your advertising efforts are not bringing in the ROI that you had hoped, rather than throwing more money at them, it may be more appropriate to step back and ask if those advertising vehicles are even reaching your target audience. That question, of course, assumes that you know who your target audience is (what motivates them, what their habits are, how and when they make their decisions…). If you don’t first address the target audience child, attempts to soothe the screaming ad child will be fruitless in the long-term.
The mark of a good CEO, Executive Director or department head is the ability to address organizational issues based on strategic need, not on the volume of their screams. Step back and assess all of the children in the room before you act. Parents out there can attest: The quiet one in the corner may, in fact, be your troublemaker.
What is your screaming child?