Corporate musical chairs 2


Without pointing the finger at any one company, I’m wondering if there is a connection between lack of success and frequent rounds of musical chairs within the boardroom?

Who gets knocked out this time round? Thanks to David Maddison https://www.flickr.com/photos/davidmaddison/

Companies that retain the same leadership over long periods seem to execute on their strategies more successfully than those that chop and change leaders at 3-5 yearly intervals (or maybe they change leaders because the previous leader’s strategic direction wasn’t working out)

Most of us have experienced the new leader who is parachuted in to “make a difference” and who spends the next couple of years shaking things up with little effect before moving on or being moved on (Disclaimer: I have been one on at least one occasion). It’s never quite as simple as it seemed in that quick strategic review that was intended to arrest decline, reduce the cost base, leverage capabilities or refocus on new opportunities.

In the geo world, take a look at the most successful companies (however you define success). How many of them have longish term stable leadership teams (over 5 years)?


2 thoughts on “Corporate musical chairs

  • Stu Mitchell

    This is very true… and there’s an obvious football analogy here too!

    I’ve been in the situation whereby a new management team has been parachuted in that has been very accounts focused. This comes at the expense of creativity, because of course that doesn’t have its own business case. As soon as that happens, creativity is stymied and development starts to cease. The long term effects of that on a company are pretty obvious. Stability encourages strategic thinking.

    • steven

      Ooh I like the football analogy. A certain team in north London have had the same manager for 18 years and despite a dip in performance the board have stuck with him while another north London team have had 11 (yes really 11) managers in the same period. Results would suggest that stability has outperformed managerial musical chairs.

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