It’s Tough at the Top
Leonardo Di Vinci once said “the biggest deception a man can suffer is from his own opinion”. Your own Mindset as the leaders of your organisations during these challenging times its critical. What you do and say has the greatest impact on the psyche of your organisation.
Adapting to rapid change may not be easy for you and it certainly isn’t for the great majority of your staff. Any change management guru will tell you that a “burning platform” or a “sense of urgency” is often a prerequisite for any large scale change. Whilst I think with the GFC there can be no doubt that for some, things will never be the same, knee jerk reactions will come back to bite many people when things turn around. In an interview with the US Financial Times, Jack Welch stated, “On the face of it, shareholder value is the dumbest idea in the world. Shareholder value is a result, not a strategy … your main constituencies are your employees, your customers and your products.”
Far too many of companies, with good people and good motives, obsess about pleasing share-market and taking actions that may well reduce their stock’s value two to three years out. This quarterly reporting obsession is having a detrimental effect on the long term planning and competency building that builds sustainable results into a business. They have slashed budgets on many longer-term strategies, such as research and development, talent retention and development, even preventive maintenance on their equipment.
All of it with the noble aim of improving margins and getting a short-term increase in share value. And then something like the GFC comes along and share prices have plummeted drastically leaving many to think, “what on earth we were thinking?” Instead of spending so much time worrying about the analysts, why not spend that time talking to your other key stakeholders, your employees and customers.
You might just find out that your cost-cutting measures have led to employee disengagement and a loss in brand equity. This is the main reason behind offering our staff engagement survey for Free. It has never been so important that leaders really understand what is going on with the Mindset of their people.