- The ‘exit’ option occurs when customers stop buying the company’s products and services, donors stop giving money, or staff begin to leave the organization. At this point, how an organization responds and the time it takes to respond, is relative to a decline towards irrelevancy and lower market share.
- The ‘voice’ option occurs when customers, donors and staff express their dissatisfaction with management. Unfortunately for staff, ‘exit’ is sometimes the result.
What’s the bottom-line?Encourage feedback and focus on building a culture where staff and customers can feel safe to voice their ideas, concerns and challenges before it gets to the point of where they feel they have no option but to exit. Below are some questions to reflect on:
- What practical steps can I take to develop a culture that empowers and invites staff to participate in the development and evaluation of the strategy?
- What is preventing me from listening to those around me?
- What positive indicators in my business might be masking problems below the surface?
- What feedback loop do I have in place for my customers (and staff)?
Hirschman, Albert, O. (1970). Exit, Voice, and Loyalty: Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations, and States (Cambridge, London: Harvard University Press.