From local to regional to global it is always fair to ask yourself if you are scoring the goals or you are just watching the score as it seems to happen far too often in big corporations. In fact, the bigger the corporation the easier it is to have a full calendar and effectively achieve very little real work done.
Results are, of course, outside the company and typically at the local level and as you move through region to global there is less and less focus on the outside world and significant time and effort is spent dealing with inside issues like ensuring the results are in line with the budget or the forecast. It seems peculiar but it is the case that as you move from local to global there is less and less time spent with clients or even talking about clients and what they need.
For some reason having big teams and more people seems to be some sort of representation of success, while actually one should ask if more could be achieved with less. Sometimes, it is just heritage and the need to feed the system created. It is almost always “impossible” to reduce the size of the teams. Tens of people attending meetings or joining calls but usually just a few are actually doing real work, many are just informing themselves and the rest do not even know why they were invited in the first place; does all of these sound familiar?
Unfortunately, people on the ground, generating the results, are taken away too often and for too long to prepare materials for those watching the score, which in essence does not make any sense. Maybe there is the need for more trust across corporations but trust can only be achieved if you hire the right people for the right places, which is not that easy. Maybe there is the need to be constructively dissatisfied with the current setting and reflect upon the way in which big corporations are sized, structured and work organised. Having more people or having big teams cannot be a symbol of power and success, as it seems to be many times the case. This is one of the reasons, among many others, why lean newcomers disrupt markets achieving a lower cost base for a better solution.
These days, there is a tide of layoffs across the pharmaceutical industry from companies that are being forced to re-think their approach to business to survive. The same goes in cycles across different sectors as result of this notion that to grow your business you need more people. This might be true at the beginning of the cycle but not later when the business matures. More could definitively be achieved with less if we just become more effective on what we do. There is homework for all of us…