It can cause huge stress, drive cracks through seemingly solid foundations, and the ongoing damage it brings comes at a significant financial cost. Oh yes, and one small fragment can multiply and cause untold damage in a matter of days.
In fact, when you think about it, the recently publicised warnings about the dangers of Japanese knotweed could equally apply to unintended problems within business. When it was first introduced Japanese knotweed seemed like such a good idea. It could thrive in fairly harsh conditions, grew fast and was seen as the ideal solution for disguising and stabilising railway embankments. But the qualities which made it attractive in the first place were the same qualities which have led it to cause untold damage on the environment.
How often have we made the same mistakes in business? That new member of the team who had great qualifications but whose presence led to grumblings and discontent across the workforce. That contract which looked so good from the outside but actually resulted in the business going in a direction for which it was totally unprepared. All it takes is one small problem which if left unrecognised and unchecked by the leadership can very quickly cause major damage to the business infrastructure, culture or reputation.