The other week a client and I had a tense, challenging conversation. This company has been in financial trouble, but we are beginning to turn the corner. We have some critical leaders, however, who are really under a lot of pressure. Increased activity and rising expectations within the last few months led to tension within the organization.
One of the leaders was quite frustrated with his ongoing need to answer more and more requests. Our sales leader is bringing their company more and more opportunities to the production facility. But this means that their engineering resources are being squeezed.
So, we got the head of engineering and the head of sales in the room for a meeting.
Then we asked, “What are the new engineering resources that are needed as a result of these increased opportunities?” We decided that the technologies that we are going to need are not inexhaustible and that the company needed to make just a few changes.
Once we had satisfied the engineering side of things, we went back to the sales side. We asked, “What can sales do differently to help relieve some pressure for the engineers?” As a result of this discussion, the sales team constrained itself to target potential customers in certain areas.
At the beginning of the meeting, the tension was thick. Each department felt like the other department was letting them down. But by the end of the meeting, everyone left on an excellent note. To reach that point, however, we had to confront the tension head-on. (By the way, we talk more about the importance of regular team meetings here.)