Lame horse.  Lame duck.  Lame excuse.  Whatever the context, “lame” means you aren’t at full capacity and able to generate maximum results.  “Lame” means you are limping along and not able to get both of your feet firmly on the ground, bearing the full weight of your organization.  It means that to get back up to speed you must find a crutch, a support, a temporary means of shoring up the weak part of your structure until you can heal whatever is wrong and get back on BOTH feet and pick up speed – walking, jogging, and running the business against the competition.

The Source of the Pain

Sometimes the reason you are limping along is simple.  You’ve picked up a stone in your shoe, so to speak.  You made a wrong move, which is like having a pebble in your shoe.  It causes you pain every time you take a step.  The only solution is to stop walking, take off your shoe, and remove the pebble!  To do that you have to identify the pebble.  It could be any of a number of things:

  • A bad hire
  • A poorly thought out advertising campaign (one which had no marketing strategy behind it)
  • An unexpected quality problem
  • A bad product or service decision
  • A _____________________

On the other hand, the problem could be more complex or from a more long term cause.,  You have been wearing shoes you outgrew long ago, or perhaps your shoes are tired and worn out but are so comfortable you just didn’t notice they are unfashionable, out of style, and falling apart.  In other words, your business model and competitive practices have not been keeping up with the times, and you have been doing what you’ve always done.  It just doesn’t work any more, unfortunately.  The old shoes might be comfortable, but they are no longer right, and the markets have passed you by.  You are wearing the Converse tennis shoes of the 1970’s not because they are “vintage” but because you still OWN them!  You need today’s shoes with the technology, the style, and the “fit” for the game you are playing to win!

The Game is On!

Understanding that continuing to suffer the consequences of a bad decision or a mistake so that you don’t have to admit to a mistake is well, lame.  To err is human, so get over it and get on with it!  When a decision doesn’t come out the way you expected, you get new information, or things change, then the answer is to do things differently!  In competitive sports, coaches are constantly adjusting the game plans as new information comes in, as players get injured or tired, as the other team makes changes, as other conditions change.,  So it is in business.  The game is on!  Make changes according to the current situation.  As you see new things happening, receive new information, or other variable in the situation change, then be proactive.  Take in the new information, be reasonable, use good timing, and adapt.  Don’t let the entire organization go on the disabled list or get taken out of play permanently because of choices which cause “temporary” conditions.  “Lame” doesn’t have to lead to permanent impairment.  “Lame” is a temporary condition, not a chronic disease.

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