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Blame and Reorganize

Monday 30 November 2009 at 12:20 pm

Blame and reorganize, is that the best an executive has to offer as an explanation as to why things are so challenging?  I imagine you heard the story about the three envelopes.  However, just in case here it is one more time.

A new CEO opens his desk drawer and finds three envelopes and the following instructions.  Open these if you run into any problems you do not know how to solve.

A few months pass and the bottom drops out of the market, sales plummet and investors are panicking.  The CEO decides to open the first envelope.  Inside was the message, "blame it on your predecessor."  The manager wasted no time announcing what a mess he inherited from his predecessor.  Like magic, the pressure subsided, people gained new confidence, and things got better.

Several months pass and the CEO again finds himself in a quagmire.  He reaches for the second envelope to read one word, "reorganize."  He announces a change in direction and reorganizes.  The pressure subsides, people gain new confidence, and things got better. 

However, this too did not last and eventually the CEO found himself reaching for the last and final envelope.  You guessed it that envelope contained the following message.  Prepare three envelopes.

This is an old story repeated frequently.  While, I personally know of no one who actually physically received three envelopes.  I know many who have used the tactics.  While a predecessorís actions or inaction may have contributed to a tough situation, it does not account for everything.  It also does not mean that the successor is to blame or does it.  What do you think? 

 

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