MANAGEMENT is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; LEADERSHIP determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall - Stephen Covey

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Tough Choices by Carly Fiorina

I recently read this FORTUNE article based on an interview by David Kirkpatrick with Carly Fiorina and was taken aback to read a few remarks that she had given on HP & its leadership…

Her remarks about…

The recent HP scandal - "Forget the legality. Let's go back to character, judgment, ethics, perspective. I think there is an impact on the Hewlett-Packard reputation, and I think it's very sad."

Her successor Mark Hurd - "I think to call the last 18 months a turnaround is frankly foolish. That's not to take anything away from what Mark has done... Certainly I agreed with his decision to continue to cut costs. It was what I was planning to do." She says that "clearly" HP is on the same course she charted when she was CEO.

HP - "Everybody at HP focused on incrementalism." "HP had become a bureaucracy." "We had 87 different product lines that never talked to each other. This was not a customer-focused business."

I am just puzzled with her comments on HP!

My questions are…Who created an incrementalistic approach / culture at HP? Who shaped the bureaucracy? Who created 87 different product lines with china-walls? Who or what was the reason for HP not being customer centric?

I BELIEVE THE ANSWER TO ALL THE ABOVE QUESTIONS IS LACK OF GOOD ‘LEADERSHIP’ AND ‘CORPORATE GOVERNANCE’... as I always say “Bottleneck is always at the top of the bottle” – Well, anyone cares to disagree?


Blogger J.KANNAN said...

There is certain degree of concept of legality in judgement, character, ethics, perspective, conduct, governance and so on and this can not be neither overlooked nor underestimated come what may be the circumstances. The very utterance “FORGET THE LEGALITY’ by Carly Florina is absurd and unacceptable. It is not just an ordinary impact on Hewlett-Packards reputation and image but an impact infused with derogatory use of words. It’s not only sad but BAD too. According to me Carly is trying to sanctify and justify her stand with such unwarranted remarks.

Faultfinding, under estimating, under rating the efficiency and caliber of CEO's of the past by the new incumbent and vice versa is not something new the business industry is facing. It has been happening for quite some times round the globe in Companies. One CEO plans to cut the cost the other CEO commenting it as cutting the COAT-An helpless scenario created by CEO’s & CEO’s. Is there any remedy for this? Yes of course.

As CEO.s are keen to take name and fame when good things happen in the company, they should also consider it as a result of TEAM WORK & EFFORT and come forward to share it with all involved. CEO’s please do not ever try to waste your valuable time in fault finding instead use it creatively for betterment of the Company, its employees and benefit of the customers, investors and stake holders.

Answers to your questions are only partly covered. Therefore I have few suggestions to put forward, which companies may consider for implementation.

CEO’s from now on consider interacting with CFO’s (All said and done a key position and backbone of any Company) and COO’s periodically to assess the situation and to assert the results. This should be carried out by reviewing all aspects of the functions of the company (I would say from A to Z) and to set right and rectify matters before it is blown out of proportion and come out in the media to public to mock at. Companies make tall talks about ethical practice, good conduct, transparency, corporate governance etc. Why don’t companies consider of having CGO (Chief Governance Officer) who will be responsible and accountable for ethical and well-conducted corporate governance. Please do not link this with the functions of Company secretary and let him have different role to perform with statutory bodies and stakeholders. If there can be a CEO, CFO, COO why not a CGO to hold and lead the corporate governance functions. In the growing demand for transparency ethics proper conduct and governance, by the investors, FIs/banks and other statutory body’s and government held tax authorities it will help a lot having a CGO and in the long run companies will rather find things controlled.

Yes for companies bottleneck is always at the top and not at the bottom, because it is created by men and not God.

4:28 PM

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