Thursday, January 29, 2009


My last entry discussed the interview with Jim Collins in Fortune magazine. He discussed at least three things that are required for companies to turn crisis into opportunity.

One of the items was the need to have enduring values. His point was that in stormy weather you need your moorings.

I agree and would add that the corporate culture is also critical and an outgrowth of the values.

The corporate culture and values that are established prior to a crisis will determine how well the organization can weather the storm.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself about your company:

Are employees taught from the day they join the organization that their objective is to enhance the value of the institution above the benefit of self?

How loyal are your employees?

Is teamwork valued and rewarded or is it every person for themselves?

Do leaders feel responsible for their team? Or will they only take care of themselves in a crisis?

Your answers to these questions will inform you about the strength of corporate culture and values, which will give you insight into how well your organization could weather a crisis.

I learned this first hand when Arthur Andersen was hit by the Enron scandal. At the time, I was the global managing partner of Andersen Business Consulting.

There is no doubt that the firms strong culture and values, that led to incredible loyalty of the employees and alums, enabled an orderly and successful dissolution of most of the organization.

Until next time,

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