When the Rubber Meets the Road – Part Two

Last week Diane Janovsky, Strategic Partner, brought a very important topic to light about Leadership wrongdoing that can have high impact on profits and people.  If you missed that article, please write to info@hpisolutions.com  and request Part One of this series.  In this week’s Power Idea, Diane shares what actions are necessary to guarantee consistency to your corporate values as your organization grows and changes.  We hope you find these tips valuable.

Last week, we addressed several disheartening high profile cases of failures in leadership that resulted in not only significant financial penalties and recall costs for the companies, but also caused harm to the health and safety of the public, up to and including deaths.  While those examples applied to large corporations, there are lessons to be learned for leaders of any size organization.  As a business owner or CEO, what steps can you take to provide the leadership required to stay out of the negative headlines and guide your company to a responsible and sustainable future?

  • First, be clear on why your business exists.  If owners were your only stakeholders, then profit would be your only motivation.  In reality, you must recognize that you serve an interconnected system of customers, employees, suppliers and the community at large, and that means delivering more than profit.
  • Next, establish the values that guide your business early on, and don’t just give them lip service by putting them on a poster or a website.  Lead by example and bring them to life.  Employees make hundreds of decisions a day that affect results.  Make sure that everyone is crystal clear on what behavior is valued and what behavior is not tolerated.
  • Remember the truism “you get what you reward”.  If all you measure and reinforce is revenue generation or higher profits, then that is what you will get, at all costs.  Consider a model like the “balanced scorecard” which, by definition, enables a more holistic view of total performance and reduces the likelihood of focus on one outcome to the detriment of others.
  • Beware of growth. While we know growth is the life blood of any organization, it can also present pitfalls. Growth usually means hiring people, and that leads to greater complexity in organizations.  Hire for fit with the culture – skills can be taught.
  • Finally, take responsibility. If the worst happens in spite of your best efforts, then face it honestly and quickly. The short-term cost will be outweighed by the long-term reward. Johnson & Johnson’s handling of the “Tylenol scare” in 1982 became a model for corporate crisis management and it is still relevant today.  (Time)

Being a business leader is not easy. The larger the organization, the greater the challenge to ensure everyone is aligned and driving to common goals in a manner that is consistent with expectations. One of the most critical roles for leadership is to proactively and intentionally establish and cultivate a culture which enables people at all levels to make the right decision at that moment when the rubber meets the road!

We at HPISolutions believe very strongly in this message and can help you sort out these objectives and provide a pathway to assist you in ensuring your organization is aligned and managing the growth and changes that are an inevitable part of corporate life today for businesses of all sizes.

Have a Great Week!

Need more information? Don’t hesitate to contact us at info@hpisolutions.com or call us at 623-866-8200. We are ready to help!



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