Directors who sit on boards may think their companies can respond well in a crisis, but that doesn’t mean their companies are truly prepared for one.
What would you do if you were offered a new job and were told you would be fired after one year but you weren’t allowed to quit during your mandate? That you would be paid peanuts compared to your old comfortable job, and you would be harassed and bashed in the media constantly. And you wouldn’t be allowed to complain. You would probably say “no thanks,” right? This leader ended up with that job and he found out what it really means to lead in a high turbulence environment.
SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby had to make a very difficult decision followed by an even tougher announcement: Over the next few years, the company’s parks—built on the playful antics of trained killer whales—would be shutting down the iconic shows that made Shamu famous. Going forward, they would be transitioning to offer visitors a different kind of experience.
Survey Reveals Perceived Pitfalls of Unplanned Growth and Underlying Anxiety in Ability to Succeed in the Face of Growth and Change
The fact that the average lifespan of companies is shortening, having gone from roughly 61 years in 1958 to 25 years in 1980 to just 18 years in 2011, is evidence that the global business sphere is indeed changing faster than ever. Not only is competition getting more intense, but disruption can now come in the most unexpected of ways and from the most unexpected of places.
Think your company’s anti-corruption policy is enough to keep employees from engaging in unethical behavior? Think again.
Only five years ago, the Toyota Production System—and the company that spawned it—were the envy of the manufacturing world. Then Toyota buckled, and “TPS” became yesterday’s glory. But now a humbled and wiser Toyota is launching a new, global, “modular” manufacturing system that is meant to re-establish its former pre-eminence in making automobiles. There are lessons other CEOs can learn from Toyota's rise back up from the manufacturing ashes.
Ethics consultants are not hired when everything is hunky dory. They're different, and often more severe, than other corporate crises. An ethics crisis is about who you are as an organization and not just about specific actions that have gone wrong. But you can limit their damage.
When Don Thompson stepped down as CEO of McDonald’s, the company did not cloak the transition in innuendo by waxing on about the character of this beloved, loyal, experienced official. The simple truth was evident: McDonald’s was losing ground and the board was not confident in his ability to fix things.
Honesty, transparency and integrity are key ingredients in any CEO’s reputation. Without them, he or she will surely fail.