Got Any Sacred Cows?

Tim Connor

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Over the years I have discovered that many organizations have a variety of policies, products, services, positions, techniques and even people that are what I refer to as ‘sacred cows’. In other words - don't mess with them. The people are protected because of their relationship to or with a certain manager or founder or because of their longevity. Many policies or products/services are the creation and of a long-time manager or department and are untouchable.

I have not yet worked with or seen an organization that didn't have some sacred cows that need to be re-visited, eliminated or re-designed. I'll bet if you look closely you can find a few in your organization. The questions you need to ask are:

1. Is the current culture, internal environment or business conditions consistent with them or do they need to be re-designed?

2. Do you have some people that need to be re-trained with different skill sets?

3. Do you have positions or departments that are no longer necessary or relevant for whatever reason?

4. Are some policies outdated and getting in the way of employee performance and organization effectiveness?

5. Is it time to let go of a previous acquisition that is no longer in your overall best interests to hang on to?

6. Are you considering an acquisition based on your ego need only?

There are many others to consider. My objective here is to ask you to take a fresh look at your organization as if you were a consultant who was charged with evaluating the overall performance of your organization and with making recommendations to improve overall performance and profitability.

One of the best ways to accomplish this other than bringing in an outsider is to ask your employees to give you honest upward feedback on behaviors, products, services, policies etc. that they feel are no longer current with the philosophy, goals, objectives or mission of the organization. However, if your culture is not based on honesty and safety my guess is that you will not get reality but what your people think you want to hear. I suggest that you fix this first before you attempt to eliminate your sacred cows! Otherwise you are only kidding yourself.

Tim Connor, CSP is an internationally renowned sales, management and leadership speaker, trainer and best selling author. Since 1981 he has given over 3500 presentations in 21 countries on a variety of sales, management, leadership and relationship topics. He is the best selling author of over 60 books including; Soft Sell, That’s Life, Peace Of Mind, 81 Challenges Managers Face and Your First Year In Sales. He is also the CEO of Sales Clubs Of America. He can be reached at , 704-895-1230 or visit his websites at or


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