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Last week I spent three days with two Green Industry Company owners and their Management Team putting together the company's Action Plan for Organizational Growth over the next twelve months. As a part of the Growth Action Plan development process, I asked each of the participants to give me their reason why the Company would not be able to double its revenue stream in the next twelve months. Some of the reasons given were "Lack of Follow Up", "Loss of Direction", and "Lack of Focus"—all good reasons why an organization would not be successful. However, I presented the one reason that, in the twenty years I have been helping companies succeed with my Restructuring Program and Coaching Program, has been the greatest inhibitor to organizations achieving their full potential: "Internal Distractions"—the internal issues every organization has but fails to properly address.

Every organization faces two kinds of Distractions in the workplace:

  1. External Distractions - Those necessary for getting the work done and the customer served. Examples are interruptions or the time required to solve customer related problems.
  2. Internal Distractions - These are the unasked and unanswered questions that destroy focus and suck energy out of the organization. They have nothing to do with getting the work done and the customer served. In fact, they are the number one reason work does not get done! An example of an Internal Distraction is Employee Compensation: if an Employee doesn't know what they are going to get paid for the next 12 months, they are and will remain distracted and not fully focused on doing the job.

While External Distractions can't be controlled, they can be managed and their impact reduced by developing processes that address repetitive issues. However, while Internal Distractions, like conflict, cannot be eliminated they can be controlled and neutralized by continually answering the unasked questions that develop around interpersonal relationships in the workplace.

The Bottom Line: The best way to improve organizational performance is to eliminate Internal Distractions with transparency and open communications!