Bending the rules?

Yesterday it came to light that Toshiba had been cooking the books to the tune of £780m and as a result the CEO & Chairman were forced to resign.  They are not the first Japanese company to run into trouble after the global financial crisis earthquake in Japan, Olympus also had problems.  It seems that failure was a loss of face and therefore unthinkable, and rather than change what they were doing, and admitting it wasn’t working, they decided it was easier to ‘adjust reality’.  I have written before about company culture and the importance of being able to admit to mistakes and learning from them.  History teaches us that the most successful companies constantly try new things and some of these are bound not to work. Think of all the mini-projects and services that Google launches and then pulls the plug on such as Google glass.  If it isn’t safe to admit that you have failed then inevitably people will lie, attack and cover-up the truth.  This is a failure to create the right culture rather than just a business failure.

Change is always frightening but it starts from a place of admitting we want more or we want something different.  If we can’t say this then all we can do is stay on the rails and inevitably the light ahead is an oncoming train…

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