This blog talks about business that are in the condition of “Quick Sand”. They look good on the surface, but there is constant movement beneath the surface that agitates and upsets the continuity. Let me start by talking about real quick sand…
First What is Real Quick Sand?
Quick sand is not a particular type of sand but a condition that is happening to the sand and is not dangerous.
The image is indelible to all moviegoers. The Western bad guy takes a misstep in the desert and falls into a patch of trembling quicksand. Just out of the reach of the nearby tree, the struggling outlaw is inexorably sucked slowly but surely to his doom in the merciless quagmire. Could it happen to you?
Quicksand is really not any special kind of sand, it is actually a condition that is happening to a patch of sand. There is an insistent flow of water beneath the surface, often an underground spring, that agitates the grains of sand, weakening them and lifting the grains apart. Each grain of sand is surrounded by a thin film of water and as they lose friction with each other, the solid mass breaks asunder. The water is not strong enough, however, to completely disperse the sand and the resultant soupy pool therefore can look like solid ground. Although the condition is most familiar in sand, any soil can become ‘quick’.
Quicksand is found most anywhere water and sand mix every day. Good places to find quicksand are on ocean coasts, near sandy creek beds and area of sand over an impervious clay substructure. Another good place to find quicksand is in hilly country with abundant caves and underground springs lurking beneath. The desert country of the southwest is such a place and, since there is often no apparent source of water nearby, the unexpected quicksand was a natural to catch the devious fancy of a Hollywood screenwriter.
But unlike the bottomless pits of doom depicted in American westerns, most patches of quicksand are only a few inches to several feet deep. And quicksand does not pull its victim down to lethal depths like a deranged Hoover. It is, however, possible to perish in quicksand but, just like drowning in vegetable soup, you really have to work at it.
Is Your Organization in Quick Sand?
I really like the first line of the facts about Quick sand that says, “Quick sand is not a particular type of sand but a condition that is happening to the sand”.
Quick Sand is a Business Condition:
Whether a business is successful, mediocre or failing does not describe the type of business, but rather a condition of the business. However, if you are a part of a business that is mediocre or failing, it definitely feels like the type of business. It seems that when the focus of the business is a continual push for survival or a force to reach the next level, the business focus feels like a particular type of business that is all encompassing, similar to that of quick sand.
Business is very similar to quick sand. Let me re-word the first paragraph of the quick sand document slightly and consider your organization while reading…
There is an insistent flow beneath the surface, often out of site, that agitates the structure, weakening and separating it. Soon the close friction with each other is lost and the solid mass breaks apart. Soon the result is a soupy pool that insidiously appears as a solid organization.
I hope that this does not describe your organization as a whole. However, if it does you are not alone. There are many organizations that are feeling the pressure of competition and the recession in a negative way. Perhaps your organization is not feeling this pain within the whole of your organization but perhaps in one or two departments.
Let’s examine what is causing this quick sand posture within your organization.
1.Are you able to identify what is causing the continual agitation to your structure?
2.Is it something internal or external to your organization?
3.Is it something that internal controls can alter to make a difference?
4.Is it a business process that is cumbersome that is causing you to lose your customers and prospects?
Perhaps it is time to start tracking your internal processes, sales cycle and customer cycles, so you are able to answer these questions and make a change. Have you looked to CRM your CRM system for the answers? It should have them.