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Tips for Avoiding Organisational Ineffectiveness - Cobalt HR

October 27, 20210

According to Michael Beer, there are six silent killers of organisational effectiveness. He describes them as “the real but undisscussable reasons for the organisation’s ineffectiveness.”

The silent killers that Beer highlights are:
  1. Unclear strategy and/or values and conflicting priorities
  2. An ineffective senior team
  3. A leader who is either too top-down or too hands-off
  4. Poor coordination across key value-creating activities resulting in a siloed organisation
  5. Inadequate leadership development and consequently too few leaders to lead change initiatives
  6. Poor vertical communication – downward and particularly an inability of truth to speak to power


To avoid these six silent killers, Beer suggests that senior teams begin to develop a two-page statement of strategic direction. Next, a taskforce of eight key leaders should be “commissioned to interview 100 key people about strengths and barriers to effectiveness.”

“In a carefully structured meeting, the unvarnished truth is discussed and a change plan developed. The plan for change is then communicated to the wider organisation.” – To find out how to make your meetings more effective, click here.


Cobalt HR’s tips for avoiding organisational ineffectiveness:
  1. Improve communication (see our training session on dealing with difficult conversations)
  2. Better the performance of your employees – this can be executed in a variety of ways including through reward and recognition, regular training and development, and appraisals.
  3. Make your meetings count!



Source: Michael Beer, 2021, ‘Six Silent Killers of Organisational Effectiveness’

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