Now we know that completing tax returns doesn’t generally rank alongside people’s favourite occupations. If it did, we would all be looking to file our returns as soon as the tax year ended at the beginning of April. So we wait until the last minute until there is no alternative and that leaves some 25,000 of us submitting returns on New Year’s Eve with thousands of others breaking off from Christmas celebrations to file submissions online or to come up with an acceptable excuse.
Sadly, this attitude can also spill over into other business areas. Leaders who should be monitoring and acting to boost levels of employee engagement refrain from taking action until disengagement levels have risen to a dangerous extent; businesses which should be innovating to retain market share sit idly by while disruptors change the marketplace; and regulators who should be intervening to halt cultural failings which lead to poor customer outcomes do little until forced to act in the face of public outcry.
We can’t keep making excuses. Sooner or later we have to take control, to decide and define a business strategy which will deliver strong outcomes and then to instil a belief and behaviour culture in our organisations which will deliver excellence. Our customers deserve better service, our employees deserve better care, and our investors deserve better returns. None of this will happen unless excuses stop and actions start.