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The Challenges of Corporate Attention Deficit Disorder

In the corporate world today, there is so much stuff going on. Whether you are growing a company or simply attempting to weather the storm of the economy, the marketplace is full of distractions. 

What if your organization was attempting to operate in this crazy place while suffering from Corporate Attention Deficit Disorder (CADD)? Now, to my knowledge, I may be the first to ever discuss this topic in this manner.  Moreover, I realize the sensitivity of making a comparison to Attention Deficit Disorder(ADD). But the realization that a company or organization could actually suffer from symptoms of a similar disorder does provide for an interesting discussion.

What are some noted symptoms of CADD? There are three primary ones- inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Below we define in more detail each of these symptoms.

Inattentiveness
  
  • fails to pay attention to changes in the marketplace or the wants and needs of customers and/or employees; 
  • makes careless mistakes in the production of their products or services;
  • is easily distracted by irrelevant stimuli and frequently interrupts ongoing tasks to attend to trivial things that are usually ignored by other organizations;
  • displays an inability to sustain attention on business objectives;
  • often procrastinates on making decisions or changes positions rapidly without much regard;
  • displays frequent shifts in direction; and
  • may not be considered responsive to customer or employee inquiries

Hyperactivity
 
  • frequently jumps in and out of the marketplace;
  • displays nervousness or fidgets about concerns of competition; 
  • constantly looks at every new idea and attempts to act on them right away;
  • always on the go; and
  • makes noise, but does not necessarily make an impact

Impulsivity

  • attempts to take on every business idea that comes around;
  • makes rash decisions without discussion;
  • is quick to judge the rightness or wrongness of a position; and
  • purchases equipment without considering the cost

If any or all of these symptoms seem familiar to you, you could be working with an organization that has CADD. Truly it is more prevalent than we think or even want to admit. 

What are some of the problems that arise from this disorder? 

Organizations that struggle with CADD seem to experience high levels of frustration. Higher than average personnel turnover ratios are common at these organizations. At most organizations with CADD, productivity is at lower than desired levels, customer complaints are higher than industry averages, and profit margins are negatively impacted.

What treatments are recommended for organizations with CADD?

First and foremost, take time to get an exam or evaluation by a professional consultant. Invest in a relationship with a consultant who can guide your organization to a remedy. 

Secondly, develop a strategic plan based on a leader-driven, team- supported vision. Build a business plan component that will help keep you focused. Commit to regular reviews of the organization's progress against the strategic plan. Hold team members accountable for their portion of the plan and the accomplishment of objectives.

Thirdly, participate in regular team meetings targeted towards insuring that distractions are limited. 

Fourthly, resist quick, impulsive decisions. Compare your impulses against the strategic plan to make sure you are not veering off course.

Finally, take small steps daily, weekly, monthly and annually. Measure your results consistently to stay on course.

CADD can be among the most challenging issues facing some organizations. It can be treated. The decision to get better begins with you. 

We can help you at Coates and Associates, Inc. Give us a call or email us to discuss your condition and a possible treatment plan.








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