Underperforming suppliers – or employees... What’s going wrong?
I watched several separate situations unfold over the past year, each reminding me of the 80’s digital handheld game, “Mickey & Donald”. Not mentioned in its title – perhaps underlining his contribution level – was the character Goofy.
The three were tasked with putting out a building fire. As the gamer, you told Donald where to point the water hose, and directed Mickey to spend his time either (a) plugging up leaks in the hose, or (b) watching over and ordering Goofy to run the pump. If Goofy was not being watched, he would get lazy and pump slower causing less water to flow and creating a higher risk of the building burning and Donald dying.
They all had their part to play in the team, but Mickey’s role was tricky because he was responsible for the performance of a non-performing team member.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t Goofy who suffered the consequences of his weakness to their team. His performance – or lack of – added pressure on Mickey’s already critical role; but moreover, it was other members of the team who bore the fatal consequences of this teammate’s lethargy and lack of passion.