Speaking to numerous leaders over the past year, there are a huge number of challenges we face in this forced remote-first world.

Many issues have continued, alongside many existing offline problems have been forced online and actually highlighted these issues or brought to a head.

Here are the five most common problems Focus undercovered and some of the actions you should take to address these issues.

Problem 1 – Knowledge Clustering
Teams end up thinking the same, you slowly create clone-like teams. By default, all thinking and training become the same and ideas and execution ends up the same.

Flip this the head:

  • Open knowledge up between teams
  • Enable teams within departments to think and operate differently.
  • Create a shared knowledge centre and share ideas and concepts
  • Share what you are working on and encourage adding someone from a team to observe and interact with projects.
  • Encourage cross-functional training and bring in external (remote)

A follow-up article to read – Bad HiPPO’s = Bad Companies

Problem 2 – Leadership Smarts Blindness
“The Leadership team” is often seen as the smartest or know best, so teams struggle to challenge. Struggle to challenge creates trust issues and can push some high performers to leave.


  • Invite challenges and debate to improve company culture and performance.
  • Allow teams to create a way to challenge the idea or ideate better ideas and fixes.

A follow-up article to read – Leadership Principles

Problem 3 – Dominance Dynamics
The flow of information and the lack of flow kills businesses far quicker than competitors do. Many leadership teams and managers struggle to communicate important projects to their teams, this is often down to overly discussing in management team meetings. Important initiatives are also lost down to information hoarding and clearly being able to share information.


  • Open up communications
  • Always have kick-off to all projects, create an agreed document to guide how to effectively start projects
  • Open up your meeting notes with actions and decision and why impacts the people and the business.
  • Create and share a decision document to show how decisions are made and when these need to be actioned and delivered upon

A follow-up article to read – The leadership cult of confusion, chaos and fear

Problem 4 – Fixed Mindset
Leaders often do not accept contributions from their department or from their team members as can be seen as questioning their leadership. This has been an issue for many users, dominance leaders can feel threatened and struggle to accept contributions or ideas.


  • Open up contributions from everyone but provide a framework to allow feedback and suggested improvements.
  • The way to introduce a growth mindset is to allow teams to question, debate existing issues, build out ways of testing, building it better or differently.

A follow-up article to read – It’s time to rethink management teams with management pods

Problem 5 – Restricting Network Connections
Companies restrict networking and connection between teams. Through numerous pieces of research, it has been proven you are only as good as the networks you are in. 


  • Many colleagues rarely get to work together or cross-functionally, a person in finance might have some of the best ideas to improve performance but are not allowed a stage or connection to offer this.
  • The Customer Experience will likely have an interesting take for the Marketing or design team.
  • Enable nodes to grow by enabling connections, offering ways for those who do not typically work together to collaborate and tackle internal issues.

A follow-up article to read – Productive working relationships

If you are experiencing any of these issues and may struggle to implement these, happily reach out below: