Fewer Teachable Moments

November 4, 2022
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Welcome to a Tacticware Resource Group educational article about Leadership, Culture, and Strategy.  Our topic in this article is about the high price companies sustain over poor decisions.

This article is available for free download on tacticware.com.

Fewer Teachable Moments

Teachable moments in business generally occur after a failed strategy or colossal disaster comes to light. It’s the brief window in time where management reflects on the absence of effective leadership, culture, or strategy.

Defer, deny, defend. Finger pointing, blame games, and excuses seek to coverup the mess.

Management instantly on high alert, figuring out how to bury the news. And news travels twice as fast when employees are accused as being a contributor to the teachable moment.

Customers shake their heads and wonder what management is thinking. Employees question the capacity of management. And the bitter word of attrition becomes part of the company vocabulary.

Certainly, every business has some degree of risk. Every business differing levels of tolerance for risk. And some businesses manage risk well. They understand managements responsibility is to consistently assess the risks, rewards, and value before they leap.


Senior management’s role is to establish goals, approve effective strategies, and achieve positive outcomes. This means senior management consistently facilitates accountability, assesses risk, and remains within the boundaries of the vision, mission, and core values.

Intriguingly, teachable moments most often occur when company goals, strategies, and tactics exceed the capacity of the management team. Exceeding the capacity of the management team means critical thinking, systems and processes, and effective communication are most likely absent.

Quality leaders separate themselves from task management. They focus on cultivating and assessing customer relationships. They identify opportunity and innovation. They are both stewards and guardians of company culture. And they assess goals and strategies for accurate value.


Employee perception is the face of company culture. Perception is cultural reality. Perception is what employees interpret and feel about the organization. Quality cultures result in more goals and strategies being achieved. And quality cultures are better focused on retention rather than attrition.

Employee ambassadors communicate company perception to customers with every transaction. Company culture both good and bad, establishes predictable value at every level. And consider this, quality customers want to engage with like suppliers. Less grief, and it’s simply more profitable.

Culture management begins with assessing employee perception. Organizational Assessments establish and validate fact or fiction with evidence. Factual evidence in ten assessment areas benchmark the cultural health of the organization.

Culture management delivers consistent and actionable evidence. It distinguishes the why and how of improving perception within, and external to the organization. And from my experience, the leading culprits generally include lack of systems and processes, accountability, and communication.


Strategy: A method, a plan, or a decision-making model to consistently achieve desired goals.

The vast majority of small and medium business organizations conduct strategic planning on the fly. Some work out, others not so well. Poor decisions have a cost.

The challenge with strategic planning on the fly is processes seldom cascade down to subordinate managers and key employees. These managers don’t learn how to make a quality decision.

Eventually, subordinate managers move to organizations who better value their trust and decision-making skills. The intellectual capacity of the organization is limited to a few at the top.  The company is trapped in the employee attrition mode.

Most of the companies I consult with have a strategic planning process or model they follow. No one model is exactly right or wrong, but they work for that organization. But the result is, teachable moments are minimized.

Generally, effective strategic planning shares three conditions to prevent teachable moments.

  1. Is the goal relevant and concise, and reflect the company core competencies?
  2. Does the strategy meet the conditions of the company vision, mission, and core values?
  3. Does the strategy achieve the goal and bring significant value to the organization and customers without undue risk?

The word No, is the most powerful word in the human dictionary. No, minimizes flawed strategies which contributes to toxic cultures. No, supports accountability and planning. No, better manages risk. No, makes all of us better leaders.

Teachable Moments

Teachable moments come at price. Profit, culture, and competitive advantage to name a few. Most importantly, management frustration, stress, and behaviors are magnified by teachable moments. And to think, most teachable moments are preventable.

Anonymous Cultures, The Silent Majority

Learn more about culture management, strategy, and leadership by reading “Anonymous Cultures, The Silent Majority,” by Paul R. Fournier. It’s available from Amazon in Kindle, paperback, hardback, and Audible. https://www.amazon.com/Cultures-Silent-Majority-Strategies-Management/dp/B08XZDTCQM

Article Author

Paul R. Fournier is President of Tacticware Resource Group. Tacticware is a management consultancy firm offering guidance in growing business enterprises. Our focus is on leadership, cultural management systems, and strategic planning.

Our expert resources include management development courses, executive coaching, and 360 Organizational Assessments. We provide guidance to clients globally. Learn more about transforming your business by contacting us.

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