What is happening right now is shining a huge spotlight on dishonest statements.
“Our people are our most important asset”
“We are totally dedicated to customer satisfaction”
“Beside you all the way”
Corporates who owe primary loyalty to shareholders can never make these sort of statements with any honesty. They owe their existence and prime loyalty to shareholders, and unless every employee, including the Board, have these statements engraved on their hearts, it won’t happen. It takes very few transgressions, by very few employees, to create enough exposure to make a lie of the statement.
Founder run organisations are often different. The soul of the founder runs through it, for good or bad, and there have been inspiring examples I have seen, from founders giving the business to employees as they retire, to those sticking by employees till the ship goes down. The lifeboat was not an option.
As individuals, we have nowhere to hide. We cannot have honesty as a policy.
We either are, or we’re not.
We may slip. Most of us do, more often than we like. But we know, and feel what we’ve slipped from. It’s visible to others, and they will forgive the slips when they know we’re trying.
The fragmentation that is being caused by Covid-19 will reposition many of us, by choice or accident.
If that happens, it doesn’t change who we are, and that is what matters. In the end, organisations of any sort are just assemblies of people around a set of assets.
We have a choice to regroup, to bring our real selves to the surface and brush off the compromises we may have had to make to survive in the organisations that are disappearing.
It will give us a challenge, but also an opportunity to choose again.
To be honest, to choose ourselves, and pay more attention to who we associate with and lend our talents to.