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 Web.com 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.

Financial Services thrives on trust – oh dear!:: Edelman Trust Barometer 2012


More inconvenient truths for the insurance and banking sector! If it weren’t for the fact that, ultimately, WE FUND the marketing they need to portray themselves, their products and services as something they are not, I would love the delicious irony of an industry that SPENDS such outrageous amounts trying to SELL to us instead of INVESTING to make their marketing promises more of a reality, restore damaged reputations, offer greater value and make their employees roles more fulfilling!

Essentially this means that we pay a high premium, so an industry, [guilty of perpetrating “licensed fraud” such as PPI mis-selling] that we don’t trust, can continue to misrepresent itself and misinform us in an effort to obtain our hard-earned, tax paid, cash.

Does this constitute a win/lose relationship, or what!!?

They have become dependent upon our inertia and misguided belief that Politicians/Regulators will make things “better”. The lack of credible alternatives serves them well, as it maintains the income needed to sustain models that are crippled by the complexity they have created to, so efficiently, strip customer value for themselves.

The full presentation makes for interesting/worrying/challenging (delete as appropriate) reading, as does the Executive Summary (click on infographic) and but before tackling that, here is a little “teaser”.

image

So, what are the messages that the genuine leaders of tomorrow can take from research such as this?

If you have what it takes you really shouldn’t need me to spell it out BUT here are a few clues:

expertise required (not salespeople)

referrals and recommendation (not sales)

business culture is critical

respect your “human capital”, and…

…give your employees a voice (with the means to communicate freely)

inertia isn’t the same as loyalty

Institutions and their leadership MUST CHANGE to (re)build trust

Of course there are other, less obvious, lessons to learn and it is one thing identifying the problems, another to tailor solutions to a particular business…but, if the process starts with recognition of the issues and a genuine desire to change, it is eminently “do-able”.

In a volatile and uncertain economy effecting change may be the difference between survival and extinction.  Innovators and “early adopters” will be the one’s to seize and retain competitive advantage.  

FINANCIAL SECTOR LEAST TRUSTED

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.