The greatest challenges and barriers to excellence in execution are always the soft, people issues, and particularly resistance to change. According to the Conference Board report, speed, flexibility, and adaptability to change are the third highest concern. Ironically, unless an organization has a flexible, adaptable culture already in place, the lack of one will get in the way of flawless execution. And, as anyone who has attempted to change a corporate culture knows, it is not something that happens overnight.
Certainly, employees understand that we are living in perilous times, and those who still have jobs will no doubt do all they can to pitch in. However, once the pressure is off, management practices that do not fuel employee fulfillment will be remembered. I have worked within companies at the tail end of downturns. To a person, management who have contributed yet do not feel rewarded start planning their exit strategies as soon as they see signs of an improving economy. Leadership teams that do not pay attention to their succession plans and make efforts to retain key employees, may find that these top employees put them on the back burner when the economy improves.