An excellent, enjoyable, insight into a subject matter that too many “experts” underestimate. Although, from a ‘complexity perspective’, the hierarchical structure too is a significant factor.

Flip Chart Fairy Tales

Jane Watson accuses HR of “Sloppy Thinking on Culture“. This is grossly unfair! CEOs, marketing executives, PR luvvies, business journalists, management consultants, politicians and motivational speakers have all been at it for years too.

Ever since the concept emerged in the 1980s, it has been seized upon by those who want it to mean whatever it is they are trying to promote in their latest board paper or management pot-boiler. Whether you are trying to reform a public sector body, merge organisations, revitalise an uncompetitive company or create a world-beating investment bank, culture, it seems, is the key.

Organisational culture seems to offer a magic bullet. If you could just change people’s attitudes then they would, you know, just get on and do all the right things without having to be asked. Then you could stop doing all that boring managing and monitoring stuff. And if…

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Corporate Culture:: it is better to be wrong and to change

Although the main focus of this article is the American Auto Industry, the examples of failing Corporate culture across sectors are plentiful. Whether resistance to change is borne out of inertia, ignorance, arrogance or any one of many other reasons, IF the environment in which a Corporation exists, has changed and it fails to adapt, all the “tried and tested” means of manipulating financial data to present a “healthy” outward appearance can only mask the truth for so long!

Creative accounting, “innovative marketing” (of re-packaged products and services) or improved gross margins (as a result of technology, reduced costs) can deliver better results but are unsustainable and may do little more delay the inevitable.

Organisations that persist with the hierarchical management structures intended to manage people and, predominantly, linear processes in the Industrial era are inviting disaster.

Why did Blockbuster idly watch Netflix destroy its business? Why did Kodak let digital cameras drive a once-mighty industrial giant into penny-stock territory?

Ask Jeff Stibel, and he’ll tell you: because that’s what troubled companies do. Stibel, once an aspiring cognitive scientist in Brown’s graduate program, is now a serial entrepreneur who has led turnarounds at and Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. “Once the human mind has set out to do something, or has gotten in the habit of doing something,” he told me, changing it is “very hard.” When you add group dynamics, it’s even harder. You don’t need to be a brain scientist, of course, to know that people resist change … and yet, even knowing that, you’d be surprised at how many firms keep driving toward inevitable disaster at top speed.

A Fish Rots From the Head:: a commentary on Corporate culture

Is it any wonder that, when you glimpse “behind the curtain” of many institutions, trust is at an all time low!? It also explains why TRANSPARENCY is viewed as a threat rather than as an opportunity.

We know bankers are easy targets but they are not alone. What about their poor relations in the good old insurance industry? Despite the usual TALK about professionalism and the need for change the stench of insincerity serves as a warning that extends far beyond the reaches of enormous marketing budgets and relentless sales campaigns!!!

I am sure that readers will be readily able to attribute some of the characteristics to organisations past and, more worryingly, present. I can think of some individuals and firms within the insurance about whom this could have been written…but there is no need to name names, is there?

What I want to hear about are the insurance leaders with a burning desire to be the best that they can be for ALL of their stakeholders and aren’t afraid to demonstrate belief in their core values. If this is you, or if you know of someone about who this could be said, I would delight in creating the Operational Structure to deliver far greater, sustainable, returns than will be achieved by an army of soulless salespeople. Read more of this post

Success For Organizations Comes From The Ability To Drive The Strategic Transformation At The Most Critical Points. “Business As Usual” Is A Very Dangerous Expression These Days

Freefall“Transformation” may sound a bit OTT but, if the Culture and Operational Structure are not aligned to the goals of the organisation “change” simply does not convey the scale of the challenge.

If “leaders” prefer to overlook even the most glaring changes in the economic environment in which they exist, preferring what they are familiar with and a belief that they will “turn the corner” they may not be worth following.

In the multitude of voices and noises, strategic and organizational paradoxes, CEOs and their executive team need to learn to navigate, transition and lead their organizations into a new future. Companies that failed to transform their organizations because they put too much emphasis on tools and technology and not enough on foresights, mental mindsets and leadership behaviours. Their leaders failed to develop the shared visions, values and beliefs that serve as foundation for dynamic culture and to engage all employees to co-create the new culture and to provide opportunities for them to initiate and participate in a shared destiny.

via Success For Organizations Comes From The Ability To Drive The Strategic Transformation At The Most Critical Points. “Business As Usual” Is A Very Dangerous Expression These Days. – innovation playground Idris Mootee.

Insurance Insight :: Harvard/Zurich survey findings – “who’s kidding who?”

English: Risk Management road sign

Image via Wikipedia

Who ever said risk was optional!!? To read, even this brief extract, one could be forgiven for thinking that a “risk culture”, in some way, sits apart from the, wider, Corporate culture!


Business Executives scratching their heads and wondering why the culture hasn’t changed just isn’t credible. I’ll wager, if the culture was one of increasing efficiency and profitability they would know exactly where the credit and “financial recognition” should go.

Governance, Risk & Compliance failures can/do occur for a variety of reasons but very few CxO’s are prepared to acknowledge or admit that it is because they run contrary to a flawed (unseen) Corporate culture…if this were NOT the case, any Executive who presumed to view themselves as a “leader”, would ensure that appropriate KPI’s were embedded in the business processes that facilitate the effective flow of information – that, themselves, can be a source of risk.

Another common “mistake” is to assume that the Risk Management process itself is adequate. Patently, according to at least one recent report, this is no longer the case: Roads to Ruin Read more of this post