‘Dead wood’ was the term used for defining and addressing the problem of non-achievement of sales targets. Sales team ‘A’ was giving a presentation to management and they had the data to explain why compared to other sales teams their team was not able to achieve the targets and be the best sales team.
The average sales per person was one of the statistics used by them to highlight how the no of sales persons below the average sales were more in count than the best performers. They outlined their goal to be the best sales team in next 12 months but this will need the ‘Dead wood’ replaced by performing ones.
The moment we face a situation where the non-performers are to be weeded out of the system, the challenge is to replace them with the best ones by hiring better than the average performers. But the fact is ” ‘C’ level manager will never hire a ‘A’ level talent.” So ultimately (most likely outcome from ‘C’ level managers), they talked about a performance linked incentive-disincentive system that is likely to help them get rid out of ‘Dead Woods’.
The whole process of corrective action here is premised on a wrong problem identification. Ultimately the use of ‘Buffalo Theory’ comes where the ‘C’ level managers are able to sacrifice the weakest among them and still continue to survive in the system. Though, with a basic premise that they will one day be the best as a team. But then they will be best only if they hire someone better than themselves.
My status update on Facebook on Aug 1 2009 read, “It seems my weaker brain cells are have grown in nos since last few days; its time to follow Buffalo theory. What ‘Buffalo theory’ states is that in a jungle a group of buffalos is as good as the weakest in their group. The weakest is the first one to get killed and hence they hope to be the best over time.
This is strangely linked to benefits of alcohol as well where the weakest brain cells are killed before the best ones and hence promoting the consumption of alcohol discreetly.
Will the team ever build a team of horses when they are all buffaloes?