Sometimes You Just Have to Shoot the Sacred Cow

With apologies to our Hindu and Zoroastrian friends, sometimes the sacred cow needs to be put down. If it’s old, weak, limping, and in pain, it’s not slaughter, it’s mercy.

So how do you know when it’s time to shoot the sacred cow? How do you know when it’s beyond it’s prime and on a rapid decline? Simple. You monitor it’s health and give every cow an annual checkup. When it’s overall health level starts to drop dramatically, you know it’s time.

This goes for every cow in your organization — the performance cow, the promotion cow, and the payments cow in addition to the marketing, legal, and advisory cows. This is very important because performance that was good enough yesterday might not be good enough today, different skill sets will be needed by the managers of tomorrow, and if it takes 57 days to process a payment, that’s a problem, even if it is within your 60 day limit.

So, just like this recent HBR article on tackling the obvious points out, if you want to stay alive, you have to continually ask what is good performance, whom do you promote, and are you focussed on change … because your supply chain can’t stand still and survive.

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