The Future of the Corporation: Seven Dangers Ahead

Fireworks 

The relevance still remains.  Good to look back to look forward.  Wrote the following post about 2 1/2 years ago:

Talked to my attorney this morning over breakfast (no problems, he's a friend too).  We got to talking about security inside of corporate America.  I, of course, said security in corporate America is pure fantasy.  No bitterness hear, just the facts ma'am.

As we talked, I went out of my way to mention that corporate America is pretty young from a historical point of view.  Why is that important?  The winds of change blow harder on youth.

The main point here is to alert you to what I believe are some dangers (keep in-mind danger is a relative term) ahead for corporate America:

  1. The flight of talented men and women to entrepreneur ventures.  I personally see this as a good thing.  I like the idea of small and nimble organizations increasing.  Besides, anytime you increase the odds against bureaucracy, the world is a better place.
  2. The harvest from the bad seeds of poor leadership.  Some organizations have failed in this area for so long that poor leadership is part of the culture.  And we know how powerful culture is.
  3. Apathetic employees who spend extended (10+ years) inside of the same organization.  Apathy works well when things are going swimmingly, not so well when the tough times come.
  4. Age demographics.
  5. Prosperity.  It was once said that Rome was never conquered, because it committed suicide.
  6. HR departments that have no true say in the corporation's future, but are asked to babysit/discipline employees (managers and staff) who are doing their own thing.
  7. Workers that have no vision.  Without vision, an organization will crumble slowly over time.

Each of the seven dangers are solvable.  But the greater issue is do we have the courage to solve?

The Self-Centered Inluencer

I was at a retreat this past weekend.  It was great.  The teacher/workshop leader was fabulous.  One thing that hit me deeply was when a couple of table-mates told me, rather prophetically, that my vision would lead to further influenicng of the world I run in.  It was good to hear that. 

This post is not about me, except when I misbehave.  And misbehavior is the point.  This post is about the self-centered influencers out there.  You know who I'm talking about.  But if you don't, the following is a short list of descriptions:

  • Evasive in conversation
  • No eye contact
  • Clique prone
  • Two or three faces
  • Deeply insecure

The self-centered influencer has influence beyond position and they tend to be very needy.  These folks really should be in a cube far away from any being who needs connection.

So what happened?  How'd they get to be this way?  I don't have all the answers, but here are my thoughts:

  • The influencer never grew up.  Those who should have held them accountable early on abdicated the responsibility or found no time to make the tough decisions.
  • The pursuit to grow skills outpaced the pursuit to grow character.
  • The organizations (workplace, church, association, home) to which the influencer called home, enabled in the name of fear, money and/or productivity.
  • The influencer ignored the path of legacy.  In other words, if we knew what we were leaving behind we'd be in awe with humility added.
  • The influencer believed the lies told by their own inner-voice.