The CEO's Cycle of Hell

Here’s where it often begins: when a customer complains, we break the rules to please them. While the customer may be happy in the short-term, what we don’t realize is that by encouraging people to ‘save the day’ (we call them heroes), we are treating the symptom of a much greater problem: a broken process.

So the existing process continues to create poor results, and heroes continue to thrive in this environment because knowing how to work around the broken process is what makes them special. In fact, people don’t create errors; processes do. We see errors only when people fail to compensate for the broken process. Are you satisfied with 70% human error?

As the leader of this company you can’t understand why those infuriating problems won’t go away. You call in your best people, but their efforts take too long. So you bring an outside consultant, but without buy-in from your front line people, before you know it, just like in the movie, ‘Groundhog Day™’, the same problem is recurring, over and over again. Welcome to The CEO’s Cycle of Hell.


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