What is it?
Most people know what it feels like to be under stress. It feels like a burden that we carry everywhere and can impact our health, family life and work. It is a human condition that is unavoidable and highly personal. If your organisation feels like it is carrying extra weight on day to day activity it is vulnerable to shocks.
On preventing organisational paralysis: “The intro of slack or float… is giving people the time and space to make correct decisions… recognising the fact that it takes a period of time to consider and communicate a decision.”
Why is it important in decision making?
Increased pressure to meet deadlines, uncertainty about work objectives, management pressure to meet ambitious targets. All will have an impact on the quality of decision making. In reality a little stress can improve performance but this improvement is finite.
Over time what we see is impaired memory and attention, reduced concentration and difficulty in decision making – i.e. not making a decision at all or choosing the wrong decision despite all the evidence. Stress can indicate that there is not enough slack in your system.
Slack is a critical yet unappreciated management resource. It is slack that provides a margin of error between a lapse in one aspect of an organisation’s performance and a harmful consequence in every other. It is slack that allows managers freedom of manoeuvre- to act decisively on one part of a problem without their decisions impacting quickly, widely and unexpectedly to every other part.
Resource slack (time, money, people) can be seen being non-productive, but it acts as a hedge against the truly unexpected.
How We Help Fix It?
Our aim is to help our clients manage stress.
Through the identification of and reduction of stressors in the workplace, and effective training, it is possible to minimise the effects of stress on individual and team performance. This creates slack in your system that gives space for better decisions and rapid recovery in the face of the unexpected.
Identifying stressors in the organisation
Reducing stress among the team
Create slack to improve output
Be ready for the unexpected
Frequently Asked Questions
Do the pressure tests take a lot of time?
Not at all. Most of the tests we conduct are half a day; or a day for the most complex issues. There is a short amount of preparation required in advance, but nothing onerous. We strive to make each pressure test as low impact on the organisation’s time as we can, whilst delivering maximum output.
What sectors do you specialise in?
We are not sector specific. The tools and techniques we use are a horizontal offering, shown to have made a difference in sectors as varied as the NHS, Oil and Gas, Retail, Insurance, Finance. We don’t write plans for people; they produce their own plans – we just help to teach them how to do it.
Are your training courses delivered as a set programme of lectures?
Not at all; the training we provide is highly interactive. Our approach is to blend learning with practical experience, enabling teams to consolidate the new skills in an enjoyable and engaging environment. We find this ‘learn a bit, try a bit’ style embeds skills more effectively.
Many of your team are ex-military. Do they know how to work with ‘normal’ people?
The military are far more collaborative and collegiate than some people realise. They need to have high emotional intelligence, in order to get the best from people in all situations. We have taken those skills and enhanced them over many years of commercial experience, to bring the best of both worlds.