A new CEO had joined a Fortune 500 company. The Board of Directors had conducted a survey of their US sales team and found that the group was largely unsatisfied with how corporate handled their feedback. The Board made one of the CEO's goals to improve next year's employee survey.
The CEO was an Ivy League educated, middle aged, tall man with great hair. He didn't have time to deal with his sales team's belly aching. He would delegate it to one of his subordinates, and push it out of his mind.
When he met with the Presidents of his sales team he realized that few of them had MBA's, and even fewer had gone to an East Coast university! These people were far too incompetent to be trusted with any level of real responsibility. He paced his large office like a caged lion thinking of a solution, "I've wasted far too much of my time on this. Who can take care of this problem for me? I'm playing golf with Daniel this weekend. I'll see if his management consulting team will do it. It shouldn't cost more than 15 million dollars."
Daniel agreed and within a week the first batch of the sales team was flown to Boston for a five day "Mandatory Sales Team Feedback Improvement Seminar."
They broke the sales force up into groups and rotated them around the training cycles. Everyone who was doing the training was in their late 20's or early 30's, all were Ivy League educated and had never sold a product in their lives. After the first day the following items were inserted in the PowerPoint slides:
• Draw what you feel is the biggest problems in this company
Please be mature and do not draw penises with our names on them.
• What do you think will help improve the sales team's effectiveness?
Please do not write "Next mandatory meeting at a Gentleman's Special Interest club." We know that means strip club.
• What does management say when you voice your concerns?
Please do not write "go to Helen Fry" we know it means "go to hell and fry"
The third day only half the team bothered to showed up, and the rest fell asleep in class or spent the time working. The training was canceled after the third day and everyone was sent back to the field. The Consultant's analysis was straight forward, "Outsource the sales team."
When the CEO brought this to the Board of Directors the overall consensus was, "this issue needs more research." Who did they hire? Daniel's consulting group. Which proves the business saying, "The money isn't in fixing problems. The money comes from prolonging and complicating the problem."