Wednesday, October 05, 2011

The HP Way Is Now A Culture Of Leadership Failure. Sacked CEO Again Walks Away With Millions

HP used to be such a unique company that their culture and defining values for success were coined the HP Way.  And like most unique corporate cultures that used to exist in this country, a formal creed or constitution espoused those shared values.    The HP Way was "...an egalitarian, decentralized system that came to be known as 'the HP Way.' The essence of the idea, radical at the time, was that employees' brainpower was the company's most important resource.  "...one of the first all-company profit-sharing plans... gave shares to all employees... among the first to offer tuition assistance, flex time, and job sharing... Today, the behavior of the two founders remains a benchmark for business..."  

Now the HP Way is one of endless leadership failure and systemic incompetence. 

Sounds more than a little bit like the HP Way has much in common with our Labor Day post three of the last four years.   That is no great irony.  The search for truth will always lead to timeless ideals of reason, virtue, respect, acceptance and empowerment.   The HP way was no different than the Ford Way that was then adopted as the Toyota Way and was even adopted by parts of our society for a time as the American Way.  But the search for truth is always and eventually subverted by those seeking control.  Seeking to subvert the search for truth.   Seeking to destroy reason, virtue, respect and acceptance. 

Working with senior executives across countless companies, I have seen more than my fair share of failed management strategies.   Large organizations always and eventually learn to manage through authority and not merit.   I think I have some idea how to run a high-powered management organization.  And, that knowledge was the basis of that Labor Day post.    Now The HP Way is now a culture of centralized control.  Of hierarchy.  Of, ultimately,  failure.   It’s no coincidence this is also the same management style of politicians in this country.  Most everything we learn in our lives is not truth at all.  It’s either outright mistruths or often ideology reinforced by societal norms.   We learn through social conditioning.  What our parents do, what our teachers do, what our leaders do, what Bugs Bunny does….. 

Remember, one of our long term theses is that this environment could very well be classified the end of big.  HP is a prime example of this.  HP is failing for that very reason.   Centralized, authoritarian, bureaucratic incompetence.  

The combined payout of HP’s last three failed CEOs is almost enough money to bail out Wall Street for the systemic incompetence.   What happened to the countless people who lost their jobs because the systemically-incompetence board keeps hiring systemically-incompetent CEOs?   Were they rewarded with millions?  Just like the victims of economic fraud in this country, the answer is clearly no.  The kleptocracy rewards itself regardless of merit.   The kleptocracy is and always has been a culture of entitlement.   HP now exemplifies this culture.

posted by TimingLogic at 11:18 AM

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