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Three Ingredients for a Black Hole

Three Ingredients for a Black Hole

By: Ross Paterson

Last week we had a leadership team of exceptionally intelligent men and women working with us on a Q1 business performance session. After identifying one area of the business as the root cause of their largest pain, we asked them to ‘whiteboard’ their current process.

The team carefully detailed the first few steps in the process, including well-defined sub steps with checklists. After a long pause, the owner wrote up a box and called it “The Black Hole.” I think we found the problem. Here are the three ingredients that cause organizational Black Holes:

  • Poorly defined process
  • No system for tracking intermediate progress
  • No clear lines of ownership


By the end of the session we had a great start on solutions. Owners beware. We find these Black Holes frequently in areas of the business where the leaders lack strength, experience and/or passion. Get your team in front of a whiteboard anytime you are struggling with a process. Systematically remove these three ingredients and you will be getting closer to the Xtra Mile.