The BNZ chief economist Tony Alexander was quoted recently (May 2013), suggesting that many managers are wary of role relationships of inferiority and superiority and as such, they mismanage their labour force. As I understand his statements, he’s saying many managers feel uncomfortable being in a superior role to others so they take a middle-of-the-road approach – they under-condemn people who don’t do a good job and under-praise people who do a good job. It sounds like a recipe for mediocrity: the poor performers keep their safe status quo, the good performers go unacknowledged which may eventually demotivate and demoralise them . All up, the net result is a huge impact on the organisation/business.
In The Press (Christchurch, May 7, A13), the CE of Recover Canterbury outlined three critical lessons for all businesses to take note of, in light of the aftermath of Christchurch’s earthquakes. In the time the Recover Canterbury coordinators were working with businesses, they found few businesses had disaster recovery plans and few were familiar with the local economic development agencies and other resources; many businesses used their accountants for compliance purposes, and not for business advisory purposes; and many businesses didn’t have strong relationships around them. The CE believed that if those factors were different, businesses would have been in a better position, at the outset of the recovery process.
This thought came to me after reading about the Ford Motor company and a new CEO a numbers of years ago, that took the helm and brought in change. To improve things within the company his mantra was ‘improve focus, simplify operations’. Likewise for an incoming CEO of a technology company who sorted a lot of stuff out and the company followed his mantra of ‘no drama, just execute’. Mantras are a simple tool to provide a lazer like focus on what really matters; and a touchstone to ensure processes, systems and actions are aligned to that end. I wonder how many organisations have them…
A report in the Christchurch (NZ) Press today noted that on average, it takes 201 days to detect internal organisational fraud and 206 days to detect external fraud. Typically, the main system in most organisations for fraud prevention is internal controls. The report also notes that fraud committed by management takes on average 514 days to detect and for senior executives, 545 days. The amount of time taken is considerable and it is possible that in some organsations, some people developing or using the internal control systems are the ones misusing it for their own purposes. It pays to get an organisation’s internal control systems and all their interrelated systems in general, checked by external risk management people, so fresh eyes can see if any gaps and weaknesses exist.
An abridged version of the VIA Character Strengths assessment is available in a free test through www.viacharacter.org . Click onViaMe and take the ViaMe test. It takes approximately 10-15 minutes to complete.
Plain old human error, mistakes and intentional fraud create revenue loss in organisations big and small; and regardless of the sector they’re in.
To help prevent revenue loss, here’s six tips of things to watch for: 1 – people in positions where they can easily intercept or alter financial data; 2 – people who are always very busy but resist all offers of help; 3 – people who often work late or go into work on the weekend, and they’re the only ones there; 4 – people who play gambling machines; 5 – people who never take holidays and are always the first to arrive at work and the last to leave; 6 – when you notice your profit declines or it is at levels lower than expected.
A recent report – the 2012 KPMG Fraud, Bribery and Corruption Survey – states about 24 percent of respondents who experienced serious fraud were reported to police; and most survey respondents – about 60 percent – thought that half or less of the fraud occuring in their organisations was being detected.
The reality in most workplaces is that staff often know theft or fraud is occurring in their workplace and they may or may not report their suspicions because: they don’t feel safe in their job; they don’t trust the organisation they work for; they don’t want to pass the information on; they may have already brought it to someone’s attention but nothing was done (often because of the organisational culture and/or poor management); they’ve given up being concerned about it.
Colleagues at ToTalRisk have told me the one universal truth in the revenue assurance field is this: where you have people, you have theft. Business owners and managers in organisations could benefit from getting in revenue assurance specialists to take a good look at their organisational culture and norms, management expertise, policies, systems and processes to see where fraud and theft occurs is likely to occur. Then any problems could be fixed and potential problems averted.
The events in Rome this week have been fascinating: a hundred plus potential candidates for a top job, a secret ballot selection process, no interview; an immediate start, major, multiple, complex issues to sort PDQ, a billion plus stakeholders around the globe; and salary? Probably a modest stipend, although full board and lodging is provided. And on working day one, signalling by action and words, that change was afoot. It would be interesting to know how he manages the change process and the team he surrounds himself with; and how he brings about change to a workplace’s deeply entrenched culture. It would make a wonderful case study…
Research has shown the six core reasons people resist change are because: (1) perceived negative outcomes (2) fear of more work (3) habits must be broken (4) a lack of communications (5) a failure to align with the organisation as a whole (6) employee rebellion.