Everyone Agrees But Nothing Changes

Mar 28, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

A piece in Strategy + Business, Treating the Troubled Corporation, says curing corporate dysfunction “could mean the difference between achieving a superior performance hailed with headlines in Fortune or the Wall Street Journal and standing in the line that leads to Chapter 11.”

Corporate dysfunction or paralysis is when (most) everyone within an organization agrees that change needs to happen and yet nothing changes.

The authors of the article, Gary Neilson, David Kletter, and John Jones of Booz Allen Hamilton, say businesses need to focus on people, knowledge and incentives to cure corporate dysfunction.

Businesses are comprised of individual groups (sales, marketing, finance, etc.)
that ultimately act in their own self-interest. Organizations need to define
who decides what to avoid internal decision-making conflicts.

Knowledge is power. The authors write, “The key to success for a company is
to identify the critical information required to make the correct decisions
and to ensure that this information is in the decision maker’s hands when
he or she needs it.”

Decision-makers need compelling reasons (aka incentives) to act in the best
interest of the company.

Moderator’s Comment: How prevalent is corporate dysfunction/paralysis
in the retail and CPG industries? What’s needed to overcome it?

As an industry and within many companies, we’ve become
very good at talking about our problems. Fixing them is an entirely different
matter, altogether. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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