Thursday, October 22, 2009

You can have your cake and eat it!

It is possible to get significant returns to the bottom line while maintaining employee morale. It is possible to develop a culture in which people want to help the organisation grow and be a profitable, highly successful operation in which desired returns to shareholders and good corporate citizenship go hand in hand.

Unfortunately, over the years we have been seduced into thinking that the only thing that really matters is bottom line results achieved in the shortest possible period. The impact of this can sometimes be a little like the episode of “Yes Minister” or “Yes Prime Minister” in which the most effective hospital was the one which never took in patients – it wasn’t losing money.

All too often there is an “either/or” approach to change. Either you concentrate on the bottom line or you concentrate on the people. Alternatively there is a “flip-flop” approach. First you concentrate on the bottom line, then you concentrate on people, then you concentrate on the bottom line, etc. Such approaches are the reason why some 70% of changes fail.

The solution is simply one of leaders developing leadership cultures in their organisations and using this to harness the energies of everyone involved so that financial results can be achieved in both the short and long term.

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