Vantage Associates
Planning FAQs
Nature Hates a Vacuum

We are taught in high school science that vacuums don't exist naturally. Nature finds a way to fill a vacuum with something. Organizations also hate a vacuum, whether it's a communications vacuum, a leadership vacuum or a vacuum caused by a lack of direction. Unlike nature however, organizations do not always fill the vacuum with something constructive.

Communication - The most common complaint employees have about their organization is a lack of communication. The void created by a lack of communication from management is almost always filled by gossip, rumors and speculation. This negative communication is based on assumptions that, in the absence of facts, are almost always unfavorable to the organization. If you have even a few employees who are willing to create problems, this void in communications provides them with very fertile ground to plant the seeds of discontent among other employees.

Leadership - Everyone knows the importance of leadership to the success of an organization. The nature of an organization dictates that if leadership is not coming from the top it will pop up from somewhere else within an organization. Sometimes that is a good thing. Leadership can develop and be a positive force from anywhere, but can be detrimental if leadership takes hold among those that are disruptive. Unfortunately, many employees will follow either type of leadership.

Lack of Direction - People need to know what they are working toward. A lack of clear direction creates uncertainty and frustration, which then leads to insecurity and fear. A group of employees is not a team until it knows what it is working together to accomplish. Without a clear direction, most will put their own agenda and personal priorities above that of the organization. At that point, the team often gives way to internal competition.

Every organization must work to avoid the vacuum by deliberately filling it before others have a chance to do mischief. A successful leader will not only lead the people, but she will also manage the environment they work in; day in and day out. Managing the context is just as important as managing the individuals.
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Poll Question
The poll question last quarter asked: Compared to today, where do you think the level of inflation will be this time next year? Here is the result:
18%Much Higher
64%Somewhat Higher
18%About the Same
0%Somewhat Lower
0%Much lower
Our poll question this quarter is: How likely is it that President Obama will be re-elected for a second term?

  • Very Likely
  • Somewhat Likely
  • Don't Know (50/50)
  • Somewhat Unlikely
  • Very Unlikely
  • We will report the results in the next issue. Click here to participate in our poll. You may return to the Poll Page to monitor the results as often as you like.
    The Importance of Referrals
    Most organizations spend significant resources marketing their products and services. Advertising, websites and now social media are all part of a comprehensive marketing strategy. Even small businesses devote a part of their budget and I suspect a significant amount of time and effort to raising the visibility of their organization within the markets they serve.

    A marketing person once said "We know 50% of all marketing efforts are effective. We just don't know which 50%." The truth is the largest source of new business is referrals from existing customers. The most accurate measure of customer satisfaction is the willingness of the customer to recommend your organization to someone else. That is not to say your marketing efforts are not worthwhile. But it does say that your single most effective marketing strategy is to provide quality products and services to customers who appreciate what you do and are willing to share that with others.

    So don't hesitate to refer organizations that provide you with good service. It will play an important role in their success and they will repay you with continued service for years to come. Don't be reluctant to ask for a referral from time to time. It is a great way to measure the satisfaction of your best customers .

    For more information contact - Jim Sisson
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