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How A Company Can Lose Money

The Clifton Review 


The Clifton Review is a tri-weekly column that examines the question of the Clifton project along with the evolution of the war between two billionaires. We covered the start of this war with articles describing the battle over easement rights, the mysterious burning of a home, the blocks to rebuilding, and countless questionable court filings.

While the 2018 series salutes fashion mogul Peter Nygård’s Golden Jubilee detailing his rags to riches story, his incredible business success over these past fifty years and an inside look at how he did it, The Clifton Review will also continue to address current affairs as they relate to the good of The Bahamas.


How A Company Can Lose Money

By P.J. Malone

Can you imagine proudly launching a business and subsequently losing thousands of dollars during its operations and not realizing it? Without a doubt it can happen!

The example discussed in the recent Clifton Review, “A Mistake That Cost A Company Thousands”, actually happened: 

The sales person of a financial services company admitted to an organization development practitioner that when a client inquired about other financial products the company offered through another department, he and his coworkers in his department would tell their clients that the company didn’t sell those other financial products.

Sales people did this because they noticed that their colleagues who had the most millionaire clients got promoted. So, they weren’t about to share millionaire clients with coworkers.

You may ask, ‘why didn’t the company just combine departments?’ It simply wasn’t feasible given the nature and complexities of their financial services products offered in various departments.

Let’s review some of the mistakes the company was making:

  • This financial services company was doing so well that they expanded their products quickly and they didn’t take the time to review their processes and systems and set up the kind of structures to ensure that everything was properly aligned. 

When you make this mistake, you never know if what you are doing is effective. Yes, the company was making lots of money, but look how much more it could have been making if they had proper alignment.

  • The company was driven by profits—like most companies are—but without proper analysis, which made it detrimental to their business goals.

Look at fashion mogul Peter Nygard’s example. He is driven to be the best, to be number one in his business. Also, he shows his gratitude continuously to his staff—NYGARD staff members are said to be motivated to work hard for the company because they feel so appreciated.

Nygard’s focus on being the best in his business causes him to achieve the kinds of success that he has. That and his perfectionism result in him always ensuring that his various organizational components are aligned with his business goals.

Because the financial services company focused so strongly on profits without proper alignment of their strategies, they rewarded workers based on connections to millionaires—at least they were seen to promote individuals based on the status of their clients.

The way employees perform in a company has a lot to do with their level of motivation. While those sales people worked hard to produce sales, they also hampered potential sales and turned some away because their individual best interest collided with the company’s best interest.

While the company may not have had a formal policy that said what the promotion criteria was, their actions inadvertently revealed it. 

Employees pay attention to everything that goes on within a company. If the company is not clear about what certain things mean or do not communicate in an open manner about what goes on, employees add their own meaning to what they see happening.

Therefore, everything you do toward achieving your business goals has to be properly assessed to ensure it is aligned with what you are trying to achieve. This example of the financial services company shows the significance of the employees’ role in the process of achieving the business goals.

So what can you do to avoid making the same kinds of mistakes? We’ll discuss that next.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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