Organisational Change Management Volume 2

Why Executives Fail

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There are 4 main reasons for executive failure

i) executive mindset failures, ie despite the evidence and data being available, it was ignored

ii) delusions of a dream organisation, ie they believe that they are untouchable and no one challenges this attitude

iii) organisational breakdown, which is usually linked with lack of communications and too much emphasis on ideas rather than action

iv) leadership pathologies, such as narcissistic, inwardly focused views on the organisation, etc

Furthermore, the 7 habits of unsuccessful executives include

"...i) they see themselves and their companies as dominating the environment

ii) they identify so completely with the company that there is no clear boundary between their personal interests and those of their corporation

iii) they think they have all the answers

iv) they ruthlessly eliminate anyone who isn't 100% behind them

v) they are consummate spokespersons and obsessed with the company image

v) they underestimate obstacles

vi) they stubbornly rely on what worked for them in the past..."

Sydney Finkelstein, 2003

(source: Sydney Finkelstein, 2003)


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