READ LAURENT’s POST Below!
After that, you might be willing to read my comments to it.
Mercedes, like the vast majority of other companies, believe they are squeezed between providing returns to their shareholders and being generous with their clients, their employees, the envoronment and their community…
What an error! By concentrating on shareholder value, they destroy what they want to achieve… The customers, the people in the company, the suppliers, the allies, the socio-economic environmant, society at large. They are all to be nurtured and respected in order to obtain sustainable financial performance. Long term shareholder return is the consequence of nurturing all the stakeholders of an organization, it is not a goal.
Perhaps it used to be, no more, it has to change… That’s what Laurent means I believe when he evokes Umair Hacque. Umair actually is part of a steady growing cohort of the brightest observers, denouncing Capitalism gone astray…
It is so well documented, so many books have been published, so many research conducted, so many examples prove it… what inhibits companies to change their course?
Companies need to adapt to changing times: Who would deny that? Why doesn’t it happen? Why is Mercedes still so unduly cheating it’s customers?
Immunity to Change (Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey)? A fixed instead of a learning mindset (Carol Dweck)? System Intelligence denied (Esa Saarinen and Raïmo Hämäläinen)? Fear of abandoning control and trusting people ? (too many authors to cite here)
CEO’s are like Emperors without clothes (Hans Christian Andersen : The Emperor’s New Clothes) surrounded as they are by a court of fearful executives, fearfull of changing their minds and their behaviours, fearfull of putting their short term carreer objectives in jeopardy for facing the unknown, Fearful of losing power they know they have lost already… Fearful to learn, fearful to change…Fearful of having to admit their helplessness in delivering the results they are expected to achieve… Fraeful of looking at themselves in a mirror… What they do is desperately clinging to their vested interests, whatever power they have on the people, to prevent them of denouncing this circus…: the circus consisting of maintaining the emperor without clothes unaware of his nakedness…. : They kill anyone who might be denouncing the “secret”. Is it a secret? I doubt it, I’m sure it is not, in reality the emperor doesn’t really care… he knows he is naked, he doesn’t know how to get out of the system… He knows what’s happening, since he is part of another “court”, the court of another emperor who he is contributing to maintain naked…)
How can the members of such courts be happy at work? How can their “subjects” be happy?
How can the member of such courts be performing? How can their “subjects” perform? …
It requires a lot of courage to change one’s ways of thinking and behaving… But after all, that’s what the e xecutives are paid for, isn’t it? Whare can this courage come from? After all, they can do it, if only they would try.
I wonder what the salesman at Mercedes, the one who told Laurent about him being fooled, is thinking? How can he be proud of himself? How can he be proud of his company?
The systems his company has put in place denatures the Human endowment he has received at birth. His systems intelligence is being held back? His freedom has gone. He has become a slave of the organizational and cultural systems of his organization. How can he be happy? How can he not intuit how wrong the policies he imposes on his customers are?
Should it come as a surprise that so many people in organizations are stressed and depressed?
My dear Laurent, You’r right.
I believe it is the right path to not buy from companies whose leaders are not courageous enough (i) to change their ways, (ii) to denounce the broader system in which they operate, ‘iii) to take steps to start changing it… However, change begins with oneself. So, employees of Mercedes, shed your serfdom, be the change they want to see in the World…Or change company…
There are enough companies today from whom to buy from, where it is so fantastic to work for. If you don’t find one, create one! Let’s become responsable employees, consumers, citizens, Humans again … by becoming just that, we’ll collectively be the change we want to see in the World. And the World will change…
Thank you Laurent for having provided me with this opportunity to advocate what is burning inside me…
Bullshiting Customers is Dangerous