Fight the Nine Symptoms of Corporate Decline —Harvard Business Review Network Blog Reviewed by Momizat on . Watch Out for Decreases in Communication, Respect, and Aspiration; Increases in Isolation, Negativity, Rifts.  Good News?  It Can Be Cured. Rosabeth Moss Kantor Watch Out for Decreases in Communication, Respect, and Aspiration; Increases in Isolation, Negativity, Rifts.  Good News?  It Can Be Cured. Rosabeth Moss Kantor Rating: 0
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Fight the Nine Symptoms of Corporate Decline —Harvard Business Review Network Blog

Watch Out for Decreases in Communication, Respect, and Aspiration; Increases in Isolation, Negativity, Rifts.  Good News?  It Can Be Cured.

Rosabeth Moss Kantor asks on the Harvard Business Review Blog Network:  How do you know a team, company, or country is on the slippery slope of decline and needs a culture shift?  She writes that she found nine universal warning signs of change-in-the-wrong direction in research for my book Confidence, which compared downward spirals with the momentum of success.  Watching out for these behaviors is the first step toward building better habits:

  1. Communication decreases.
  2. Criticism and blame increase.
  3. Respect decreases.
  4. Isolation increases.
  5. Focus turns inward.
  6. Rifts widen and inequities grow.
  7. Aspirations diminish.
  8. Initiative decreases.
  9. Negativity spreads.

The good news is that all these symptoms are reversible:

It’s easy to get discouraged by the doom and gloom of downward spirals, as I’ve seen in declining companies, low-performing inner city schools, marriages falling apart, developing countries with wide social divides, and problems with U.S. competitiveness. But I’ve also worked on the opposite: turnarounds that create habits that fuel success. I’ve observed and helped leaders who care about positive relationships set the stage for positive outcomes. Here’s what leaders — official or emergent — do to shift a culture from the behaviors of decline to the habits of success:

  • Keep communication open and information flowing. 
  • Emphasize personal responsibility. 
  • Model respect for talent and achievements at every level.
  • Convene conversations across groups. 
  • Stress common purpose. 
  • Work on reducing inequities and status differences.
  • Raise aspirations. 
  • Reward initiative.
  • Reinforce the positive by saying and demonstrating that change is possible. 

Read the full piece here for more explanation of each symptom — and insight on how to repair and restore a corporate culture in crisis.   

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Corporate Decline is Reversible, Rosabeth Moss Kantor writes on the HBR Blog Network

 

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