Download: system, export problems down, crisis and behavior strategy

    In the 2008 crisis, there was a popular joke about news on TV:
    - Good evening. Well, enough of the good ...

    We are in a crisis. Welcome.

    Perhaps it is precisely with you that the terrible and irreversible has not happened yet. It is happening right now. The only question is where you are: inside or above the meat grinder.

    Crisis behavior patterns

    We decided to make a cycle of materials and devote the next couple of weeks to how to live and what to devote time to now.

    But first, a few words about what you have taught us over the past few years.

    We have been creating and launching training products and programs since 2008. Since 2010, we have been doing this as the Stratoplan School of Managers. The field of adult education is well understood. Over time, we learned to do it well, and we are strong in this.

    And we are constantly experimenting with information marketing and how to position and sell our products and services. And there are no stable models and guaranteed recipes. Media is constantly changing. Formulas for launching new projects or products become obsolete in less than six months.

    In 10 days, we will launch our new, large training program, which we came to after two years of continuous work and experiments with training formats. We know that it works. We do not know with 100% certainty how the launch will work. and how to make it reach out to those who need this program, and not to bother with cannon shots for those who are now not up to it.

    But we know you, because we ourselves are. You taught us that if we explain what we are doing, tell you why we are doing it right now, you will understand us better than if we do everything and sell like everyone else. “Black Friday”, “Cyber ​​Friday”, “White Monday” - to wind up the price and then give the wrapping up as a discount ... we don’t play it.

    This time we decided not to play by the rules of information marketing, but to tell you right away: what and how we will do. If you are with us - OK, if not - we will give you the opportunity not to receive letters from us about this this, exceptional in all respects, launch of the Stratoplan School of Managers.

    We want to tell you how this program was designed and why we decided to launch it right now, when there is a crisis in the yard, information wars and chaos are booming, which our generation has not seen before.

    In any crisis, there are two logic of behavior - the one that the media is imposing on you and the one that you choose. Outward directed, which pushes you to thoughtless actions, and directed inward, which helps you to be stronger and smarter and calmly survive the crisis.

    We will try to reveal our understanding of what to do and what to do in a crisis in a series of articles that we will publish in the next 2 weeks:
    • (today) Download. What is a system, what is a crisis, what to do during a war
    • Bifurcation points. As in the previous crisis, we reached a new level
    • Behavior and reactions: 7 right things and 8 principles of growth in any conditions
    • Stratoplan School of Managers Set for 2015
    • Product Presentation: Webinar with Answers to Program Questions

    From this series of articles / thoughts, you:
    • You will learn by what principles any system (state, politics, business) operates and how most systems address problems
    • Understand what under the triple press are now all who make good money and are friends with brains
    • See what you need to do to not be influenced by systems and mass psychoses

    All this, of course, is only our idea of ​​the world. But, if you are interested in looking at the world with our eyes - let's move on. And today we’ll talk about what a system is, how it addresses problems, why so many things fall on us and who the information war in the media and on the Internet is aimed primarily at.

    We are in crisis.

    The crisis of power and the economy. We are trying to maintain common sense and continue to work in a new war. To do this, you need to understand how the system works and how it behaves when faced with problems.

    Any system, state or corporation consists of 4 main modules:
    1. The parent body is the government, the board of directors or the founder / director / CEO of the company: the part of the system that is responsible for the purpose of the system and creates a structure of elements to achieve this goal
    2. The governing body is the next level of the state or organization at which the laws governing the system and mechanisms for implementing the goals of its existence are created and monitored: legislative and controlling branches of government; production, development and operational management in business; heads of departments, vice presidents who are responsible for what products will be produced or services will be provided by the business
    3. Transmission mechanism - field officials, department heads; managers of the first and (rarely) second levels, team leaders, project managers who are responsible for the implementation of operational tasks: setting and monitoring tasks to direct executors
    4. Working body - a subsystem or group of elements performing work: engineers, specialists, employees directly performing work operations to provide a service or create a product

    The system is functional in a dynamic environment and can develop if a series of simple static and dynamic laws are fulfilled, one of which says that any problem in the system should be fixed at the same level at which it was found or at a higher level.

    In theory, this means that the official or manager who found the problem should analyze it, understand what he can do at his level and if there are no solutions in his field of authority, go with it to a higher level.

    In practice, when a crisis or problem arises in politics, economics or business, one of the ways to solve it is the so-called “export down” - transferring a problem from the level of problem detection, on the contrary, to a lower level, because escalating the problem is either scary because of potential consequences (they’ll dismiss you because you can’t cope and are not competent enough for the position) or simply nowhere (if you’re a director, you don’t have enough knowledge or experience, but you need to involve outside expertise on some then the reasons fail).

    Examples of how this works.

    Sales fell. Objective reality expressed in numbers.

    What management decision is most often taken? Let's stimulate the sales team (decision of the sales director) or hire a new sales director (decision of the general manager or owners).

    It is logical only at first glance. We are with you and our product or service in a market where there are other players, where there is a price, where there are other ways to solve the problem that your product solves, where there is a dollar exchange rate and bank deposit rate, where there is your target audience and promotion channels information about your product or service and also, of course, there is the way you sell and the amount of effort (work) that your sales team does.

    Perhaps the market has changed. Either the niche has become less flexible with respect to the “price offer - the problem to be solved”, that is, it’s not ready to pay more for your product or some more global problem has supplanted the problem that your product solved. That is, the problem with sales is quite possibly located not only in the department / department of sales / sales, but is a more systemic problem of the product / marketing / market. And if the person in charge of sales is confident with the full functioning of the sales authority (let's simplify the generalization of the department / division / group to the word “authority”), then he can go to neighboring units or higher and offer to do something with marketing, product or service.

    Or another example:

    People began to quit, because the dollar rate went / ran / flew up, and the salary is tied to the national currency? Let's give instructions “to retain and motivate” or “to hire new ones for the same money + transfer bonuses”, instead of looking for access to foreign markets, multiplying the company's revenue scheme or optimizing business processes and increasing the company's profitability per employee, which will allow you to pay other salaries

    That is, in most cases, the problem detected at a certain level of the system is not solved, but turns into a problem of a lower level:
    • Sales fell - more cold calls to the manager and increase the percentage for the hands of the department (incentive!), Instead of a comprehensive effort in marketing, attracting customers and optimizing the sales funnel
    • The product is not for sale, because competitors occupy a niche - we will make more product and compete in cost, shifting the burden on production and sales (lower prices / quality and fill up the quantity - an excellent strategy that can be called simpler: “let those who stand lower work more "), Instead of making another product and selling it differently
    • People leave - we will conduct one-time (!) Courses on motivation and retention of employees for managers instead of development and training policies, in order to increase profitability per person and increase salaries

    There are 2 reasons why the right step - to make sure everything is in order and initiate changes in neighboring parts of the system - does not happen.

    1. Because no one is sure that he is doing everything 100% right and he has 100% order in the processes and the unit works at the optimum of opportunities / resources. No one knows how to make 100% work. Neither in business nor in the state. But how to go to the general one and offer to change the positioning of the product or change the marketing policy, if in most cases you are immediately advised to first clean up your house and then “re-educate” or “improve” others?
    2. Changes up make much more difficult than changes down. Upward change is always a change that you have to coordinate, work out, build and do it all without administrative authority (the head of the neighboring department, the general director or owners do not obey you) and at the same time operating the offer in an environment where you may not have expert knowledge: the vice president of marketing is unlikely to be an expert in production processes or personnel management. And the higher a person gets into the system, the more highly specialized are his skills and expertise.

    There are exceptions - someone figured out sales or production, set things up and went on to establish marketing or develop an affiliate network or even took a managerial position in the company. Exceptions are therefore called so, because there are fewer / fewer exceptions than no exceptions.

    The problems described above are characteristic not only for domestic politics or the economy and our native management style. Lou Gerstner, who saved IBM from 1993 to 2002, or Eric Schmidt, who once pulled the Novel company out of his ass, wrote the same thing word for word: when a company has systemic problems, all vice presidents are fine - problems or directly with the staff (engineers engineer worse and worse and do not create more, you know, breakthrough products: the problem is BELOW) or in neighboring units (they need optimization there: the SQUARE problem). That is, even vice-presidents of large Western and world corporations, people specially trained to manage, behave in the same way:

    If you are not in a high control position in a self-contained system, then you are the working body of the system, the transmission mechanism or the control element of the system. In other words, if you are not the owner of a sustainable business or the head of state, most likely they have already let down on you or are now letting out some kind of systemic problem.

    The situation becomes worse for you as soon as you find yourself part of a large system: a country or a corporation.

    Deceiving face-to-face or manipulating one person is bad, because if he catches your hand, it will be very difficult to negotiate with him in the future and have to give in to him in something.

    Manipulating the team, gradually overestimating plans, twisting the handle of the conveyor by 0.5% per month is already easier: you can always find or come up with a strategy / model / theory that will explain that working tomorrow even more than yesterday is not just the right approach to business and life , but also makes us all develop almost spiritually.

    To manipulate an organization, party or people is called making politics, managing public relations, shaping public opinion or, if you wrinkle your forehead for a moment, then remember that this is simply called ... “propaganda” in one form or another.

    The situation is also complicated for you if you have a head on your shoulders and you are able to analyze facts / situations in time or simply have banal logic.

    It is difficult to control and manipulate a person who thinks.

    It is difficult to launch a new plan 2 times higher than the previous one, and at the same time deftly reduce the percentage by exactly half to pay the same amount in fact, and the sales manager, whom we will now call the “region manager”, and give him not subordinates, but simply 5 Once a large base of cold contacts, it is easily accepted and agreed.

    It’s hard to sell the idea to the programmer “but now we have a super-hyper-new-fashionable methodology in which you have more responsibility for your code and more authority to fix it at any time of the day or night + here you have 2-day courses and a certificate, because that we promised the customer next year a double volume of functionality for the same money. " He simply knows how to count: his time, development, the product he creates and understands how much his head costs in the market.

    It’s quite tough if we try to sell the ideas of a “bright future” through TV to people who have critical thinking and information analysis skills.

    So what to do to these guys: yes, you and I, people with money above average and brains above average, to make people who control ooooooo big systems need to believe that?

    “Export down”, as we recall, still has not been canceled. That is, to blame the problem, make it work and pay even more someone lower in the system still somehow wants to.

    Everything is very simple: you need to clog the input channels with information, overload the analysis body with conflicting data, create and throw in situations that paralyze the logic and cut down at least partially the functions of the brain, which can be called common sense.

    These are the goals and objectives of any information war. The crisis is, by the way, another result of this war.

    And more than others, we are the ones who suffer from this war: those who are used to processing huge volumes of information, who can quickly draw conclusions (only this works in an environment where you control the quality and reliability of information at the input), who live in the world of information. In the world of the Internet, which has long become the same springboard for the application of influence technologies, like radio and television used to be. We hid from the TV with its hundred channels? And they themselves dived into the Internet with its one million channels of incoming information.

    You and I will be "bombed" in this information war first: you know a lot - BOOM, quickly read - BOOM, try to analyze - BOOM-BOOM-BOOM, drown in information mixed with explosive shells of conflicting facts and simple lies.

    Politics is not only a manifestation of power, it is also a layer between business and people. The economy also does not need your common sense. What for? Because you make good money and generally the foundation of society? On the contrary. Work more, think less, pay opaque taxes, take weird loans and shut up, please.

    Now we are under triple pressure:
    1. Business in most hired managers is not able to solve their problems at their level and throws them down: it has always been, now it’s just getting stronger
    2. Politicians do not want some obscure “bespectacled class” to tell how the oil prices, the dollar and gas prices are related
    3. The economy wants you to continue to take loans for what you do not need: and you are a very valuable product for advertisers and technologists

    How can we deal with the fact that foreign policy or the economic situation leads to the fact that your income is depreciating right now? How can we minimize the consequences of the fact that in the vast majority of hierarchical systems problems of a higher level are transferred to a lower level, where 80-90% of all employed people in any business are?

    Exit strategy: invest time and money only in yourself
    1. Move up the system, minimizing the number of problems coming from above and learn other ways to solve problems, except for “export down”
    2. Increase the area of ​​their authority in order to gain more degrees of freedom in decisions and resp. increase your influence on the result
    3. Include your head in the consumption mode of only the information that makes you more flexible, smarter and more functional
    4. Learn new knowledge and learn to convert knowledge into new patterns of behavior and decision making
    5. Spend time getting, analyzing and digesting only the information that strengthens your life and professional positions
    6. To accustom the brain to “healthy and wholesome food”, and to do this, spend free time not on news and the Internet, but on training
    7. Focus as much as possible now on pumping yourself and moving towards your own long-term goals - this simultaneously reduces situational anxiety and works as a stable defensive strategy for your information space

    We see how many companies spend a huge amount of time to return people to a resource state and direct their energy to work. We see how all sorts of influence groups have become more active, which draw people into empty squabbles, not even at political forums, but on sites of entertainment or professional topics.

    And we want to invite you to a protected place. In the annual program of professional training, which we designed and filled with useful and practical materials for the last 2 years of the Stratoplan School of Managers.

    Today we had our first meeting, the first “touch” with the topic of behavior in a crisis. As we said at the very beginning, we decided to make this launch very special: consistently tell you why we are launching the program right now (because it’s not enough to do the right things, we must also run them on time: we believe that now is the time) and why The program of qualitative changes is more relevant than ever. We will talk about this and what the “bifurcation point” is, what results we achieved in the last crisis of 2008, and what our colleagues and students say about the “crisis of opportunity”, in the next article. Make sure you subscribe to our blog. See you on Monday, December 8th.

    Good luck to us,
    Slava Pankratov
    Managing partner and business coach,
    School of Managers Stratoplan

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