Why we ended up focusing on daily deliverables?

Recently, I’ve read Ted Bauer’s article “Daily deliverables murdered strategy”. While I agree with most of the points there, I thought it could be worth looking at what made us to focus on the daily deliverables in the first place.

Many of us who were at any level in the corporate world would remember either or both hearing or saying something along the lines “so what do we do to meet our numbers this quarter?”

The quarter to quarter obsession dictated by the analysts & shareholders killed the strategy and long-term business focus in the first place.

This is in my view the main reason why senior management is merely forced to focus on day to day operations. You know the stuff – weekly forecast, adjusted couple of times during the week, so that the CEO / CFO / COO could present as accurate numbers as possible at the call with analysts every quarter.

Why is that? It is the pure survival game. Any deviation (up or down) from revenue and earnings estimations could cost them their job at any quarter during the fiscal year.

Such environment does not attract visionary types of leaders who would focus on strategy & long-term business. CxO jobs of today became pure full time operations.

Quite naturally, the HR search & hiring adopted to this when assessing CxO candidates “oh, he would be a great candidate. He is well connected, focused on driving new business, … but I’m not sure how well he could run day to day operations.”

It is the “we have to meet our numbers this quarter” madness that caused corporates to focus on daily deliverables and directly contributed to murder strategy.