Customer Churn and Lead Flow as great examples of cross-functional management issues.
From Ben’s Blog (Andreessen Horowitz) – One obvious yet under-appreciated law of business physics is: For any given company, the larger the company becomes, the more opportunities emerge to screw it up. Another obvious, but not well understood law: The more screwed up your company, the more people will complain about it and blame you.
If we take these two together, it is easy to see that without intervention the larger your company becomes, the more people will complain and blame you. This seems simple enough, but CEOs often fail to understand the logic, become overwhelmed by the criticism, lose confidence in themselves, and decide that they are no longer capable of running their own companies. This can be tragic as I explained inWhy We Prefer Founding CEOs. If you are a logical and open-minded person, it is difficult not to take a 10X increase in criticism seriously. More importantly, it’s difficult not to take a 10X increase in criticism personally. So how can a CEO keep from getting ground into sawdust by complaints from her own people? The answer comes from a simple CEO aphorism:You either apply pressure or you feel pressure. Let’s begin by looking at the overwhelming spiral. As your company grows, people start complaining about everything from your sales efforts being underwhelming to there not being enough organic snacks in your free food section. In the meanwhile, you are trying to wrestle serious product strategy questions posed by scary competitors to the ground. You don’t know the answers to most of the complaints, so you defer them and focus on what you know. The problems related to the complaints fester and grow. Your employees get frustrated that the issues are not being fixed and complain louder. They begin to lose confidence in you as CEO.