So stop following the trends for there is nothing magical about being in the magic quadrant. Follow cold hard facts as they confront you in your environment. If there are lessons to be learnt from others then so be it – but that means learning, analyzing and then applying NOT following.
Is it time to cancel your membership of the “flavor of the month” club?
First it was letters. Then it was the phone. Emails took over where the phone left. The web – flicr et. al. – were then the “visit to grandma’s” for Gen X. You ain’t seen nothin yet!
Granny is on Facebook.com. You are all invited to view her page. She updates it regularly with jokes and videos but do not despair – she has your and your children’s pictures too! So bookmark this page because your visits to grandma are going to be the courtesy of Facebook. With $100/barrel oil, these virtual visits are here to stay!
Well, these are the days of Grandma on the web but you cannot use your Grandpa’s web strategy to leverage this trend! The boys are using banner ads and the like to get to their demographic. The men? They are finding ways to create ways to create viral marketing pieces.
Seen a funny video lately? Chances are it was forwarded to you by a friend or you saw it on their Facebbook page. Well, that video is pollinated across the web – i.e. sent to hundreds of thousands of people – by willing bees who charge you nothing. The best part? It is read by almost everyone who gets it in their email because someone they know sent it!
This is just one example of viral advertising on the web. There are many more. So as Facebooks of the world take over the web, you need to polish that web strategy. For Granny’s got a page and she is not afraid to use it. She needs content and where else is she going to get it if not for you?
- It won’t be an IT Organization. CIOs will have to create a business organization that looks, feels, tastes, behaves – you get the picture – as an organization a “business” leader would lead.
- It would be a process focused organization. As my teenager would put it, function based organization are, like, so yesterday!
- It would comprise of skills organized as “centers of competence” – groups of people with a skill category led by a subject matter expert.The term often used is center of “excellence”; till I see something excellent, I will have to go with competence. I know that is still a stretch but what the heck this is the season to be jolly!
- The days of management are over; the days of leadership have begun. Soon this mantra will get off paper and be put in practice
- The manager will be transformed into project manager – you lead and initiative with a team cobbled together for that initiative with members picked from the centers of competence. Initiative over means team disbanded.
- The key management skill will be vendor relationship management. Every organization will get strategic depth – and yes, cost savings – from outsourcing. The management will remain in-house and the “work” will be performed outside. So your skills, unless you are one of the vendors doing the work, will be in managing vendor relationships. Note that I did not say “managing vendors.” Big difference between the two.
- The days of employees are over. Employees, who are units of capacity, will be replaced with subject matter experts who are units of capability. Bye bye life long employment.
When we think of governance invariably our mind goes to the negative – stopping, preventing, punishing etc. Rarely do we stop to think of the need for positives such as rewarding good behavior when governing.
It is for this reason that I believe that governance and leadership compensation are inextricably linked. Rewarding good leadership behavior is critical to meeting the primary objective of good governance – creating shareholder value.
However, when does this reward get to be a liability for governance? When it is disproportionate.
How do we know when we have stepped into disproportionate territory? As justice Stewart once commented on the definition of obscenity: “I know it when I see it,” disproportionate is often at display to an impartial person. If the CEO makes 364 times the average worker, I consider it disproportionate. If the CEO gets a bonus while the company’s stock is going down, I consider it disproportionate.
Quite often the board – especially the compensation committee – are happy to give their friend and benefactor the CEO an open check book. Shareholders take notice of this. Employees take notice of this. The immediate direct reports of the CEO take notice of this.
Michael Vick – ex-falcons quarterback – likes to torture dogs. He met Jesus recently as he was putting in a guilty plea. As expected, the good lord does visit the scum to help them through what they have done to others – in this case hapless animals who never did anything to Mr. Vick. One must applaud Mr. Vick’s newfound piety but it would have helped had he sought the good lord before starting his gulag in West Virginia.
Senator Vitter is a “family values” man. Only his family values are cheating on his wife with prostitutes. Prostitution is illegal in this country so Mr. Vitter may have also broken the law. His piety awoke when he got caught in the DC Madam scandal. If Mrs. Vitter is a woman of her word then by now Mr. Vitter is “member less”, if you know what I mean. One can only expect a “humbled” – in all senses of the word – Mr. Vitter getting his “massage” at home and keeping his hypocrisy there as well.
To borrow his own words, Larry Craig “has been a bad boy. He has been a naughty boy. He has been a nasty, naughty, bad boy.” You see, the Senator from Idaho is also a “family values” champion. His family values are on display in public rest rooms soliciting other men. Unfortunately, in a Wisconsin airport restroom he solicited an undercover officer. Then, after almost a month of being booked, he pleaded guilty to the charges. He is cheating on his wife and being a hypocrite bashing gays while being one himself. And the cherry on top? Breaking the law? Not really. Mr. Craig shamelessly stands there, in the face of overwhelming evidence, and presents defenses – one more preposterous than the other!
These cases are many and they will continue till we launch a war on hypocrisy. (if there is any money to be made, you know who will sign up immediately!)
Well, some corporations have their own awakening after their stock plunges 28% because of bad governance. Meinl Land did not disclose stock buybacks in advance and investors punished them where it hurts the most – the pocket book!
Now, the company is going to improve governance and transparency. Their new spokesperson? They have a choice between Mr. Vick, Mr. Vitter or Mr. Craig.
Coincidentally, they are all going to be looking for a new gig soon.
- Before you outsource – anything – make sure that the final product is going to be what you want it to be
- Before you create a press release, spend some time getting to the root cause of the problem so you do not look like an idiot
- Before you assign blame in public make sure you are not ticking off a critical link in your supply chain – can Mattel succeed without its Chinese manufacturing?
- If you do make a mistake, make sure your apology is to all your stakeholders – apologizing to the Chinese in China is a good thing but Mattel should make every effort to clarify the situation to its American consumers
- Engine is not tuned
- Spark plugs might not be clean
- Air filter might be clogged
- Oil filter might be clogged
- New tires = lower mileage
- Bad driving = bad mileage