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Are You Falling From Grace?

The bigger and richer they are, the further they have to fall, says this article from Yahoo! Finance.

Challenged by recession economics and fed up with the spoiled, arrogant rich, consumers are turning against brand icons like Tiger Woods, LeBron James, bankers in general, even Warren Buffett (for his dalliances with Moody's and Goldman Sachs.)
"Money can buy a lot of things, but it can't buy public opinion," ... "Free will is going to be free will. That's endemic of a much larger shift for the economic social movement."
As pessimism and distrust of public figures reach all-time highs and hypersensitive consumers parse  every word and action, forward-thinking health care organizations prize deep, reciprocal, trusting connections with customers.

If fancy mission, vision and values statements mean anything, it's time to dust 'em off and start living 'em, every person, every shift, every day.  Say it, do it, live it.  While you're at it, start using those 'pillars' for something besides holding up the corner of a wobbly board room table.

Alternatively, act like another faceless, fat-cat bureaucracy and watch trust, built over decades, disappear in the blink of a recession's eye.  What a shame.

On a related topic, the question was asked yesterday whether BP can recover its reputation after the Gulf oil spill.  Of course they CAN recover.  The real question is WILL they?

I'm betting they won't.  I see BP headed, in some combination, toward bankruptcy, acquisition, dismemberment and/or irrelevance, destined only to be a B-school case study in trashing a once-proud brand.  Will you ever look the same at that green and yellow logo, designed as it was to be 'green' and 'sustainable' and 'hip?'  Doubtful.

What's increasingly obvious is that BP's senior leadership knowingly risked the company's future, talking 'safety' but never backing it up with the tough work of hard-wiring safety into a risk-taking culture.   Eventually (and predictably) all those little wagers aggregated into a toxic, bet-the-farm risk profile that'll cost the company any future at all.

What 'little' risks are you taking today?


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