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Raising the Bar

Written by Gino Wickman on November 5, 2012

Implementers EOS

A client of mine shared a great analogy to explain what happens in an organization (like his) that is growth oriented, striving to be the best, and continually raising the bar as all companies must, to evolve, survive, and thrive in the long run.

Picture all of your people holding onto a bar. Imagine each of them with a firm grip tightly on the bar. Simultaneously, the bar is raising up slowly. Up and up it goes. It’s so slow and subtle that a few don’t even realize that it’s rising. After a while their arms are over their heads, still hanging on. Suddenly their feet come off the ground, resulting in some just being incapable of holding on any longer.

While this may not be a perfect analogy, I hope it makes the point.

Every so often I have to share this analogy with a client who is struggling with employees who used to be great and are now only mediocre. I help them understand through this example that as they keep getting better, stronger, and faster as a company, this inherently translates into higher standards and expectations, and what used to be acceptable just isn’t anymore.

Be careful what you wish for.

If you’re realizing this phenomenon in your organization with one, two, or three people being unable to keep up with going from good to great, company growth, technology changes, and industry changes, this might help you put your finger on it. Please share this with your leadership team this week as it might help shed some light and assist you in making some tough decisions.

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