Consultant Lists Ten Symptoms of Management Dysfunction on Heels of Merrill Lynch's Acknowledgment of Insufficient Team Cooperation

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Management consultant and executive team expert Matthew Levy of Results Management Group explains the importance of John Thain's (CEO of Merrill Lynch) pledge to straighten-out his executive team and shift Merrill Lynch's culture. Includes List of 10 symptoms of executive dysfunction. South Florida software executive Richard Kincaid, Operations VP for Vertical Computer Systems explains how he addressed executive dysfunction in his firm and how now his employees are united, excited and productive as a result.

When John Thain, CEO of Merrill Lynch, pledged to revamp the bank's culture in response to insufficient management team cooperation that he believes contributed to its $8bn mortgage write down (Financial Times - December 3, 2007) he was also sending a wake-up call to CEOs everywhere.

"Thain's acknowledgment of culture and Management Dysfunction as a key contributor to poor business results is a courageous admission and other CEOs should be investigating it as well," said Matthew Levy, CEO of Results Management Group. "The impact on corporate culture of poor executive level collaboration may be the single most underestimated cause of weak corporate performance for large and small companies alike."

As companies across the nation prepare to execute next year's strategies, addressing executive team dysfunction now is of the essence. Identifying the symptoms of Management Dysfunction is critical.

Ft. Lauderdale software executive Richard Kincaid of Vertical Computer Systems explained, "we recognized that our executive team meetings were power struggles with polarizing positions that caused a dangerous, self-perpetuating cycle." Levy worked with Vertical to uncover other problem areas and set about teaching the executive team to redefine success, recognize each others strengths and styles, and gain velocity in goal attainment. Kincaid is excited about the results, saying, "Vertical's employees are united, excited and productive which accounts for our increase in sales, product line expansion and improved customer service."

Levy cites the following list to help CEOs identify common symptoms of Management Dysfunction:

1. Inability to deliver on breakthrough results
2. Lack of shared commitment to the same compelling vision or strategy
3. Chronic frustration or resignation of executives
4. Long list of unresolved issues, conflicts or disagreements
5. Frequent revisiting of decisions that were already made
6. Power struggles over resources
7. Leaders that are not accountable for the results they create
         and instead blame others.
8. Accepting mediocrity
9. Rarely hitting the numbers
10. High employee turnover

"Too frequently," says Levy, "executives know their company struggles with such issues, but they are resigned to letting them persist because they simply don't know what to do," explained Levy. "That's why Thain's remarks about Merrill Lynch are not only bold, but also smart."

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MATTHEW LEVY
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