Matt and Rob Worthington-Smith's blog

The Case for Scoring Leadership Maturity

The corporate narrative, from its advertising to its annual report, is like a good story. It sells the idea of a noble enterprise. In extreme cases, a company’s mission can become something like sacred, an icon around which people bind their allegiance. As a result, signs that the mission is succeeding are elevated to the status of hard evidence. Counter-narratives, no matter the source, are suspect, and so is anyone who questions accepted truths. Good stories, then, can blind or deceive people, and lead them to behave unethically—and perhaps even to outright steal, defraud, and corrupt. This can break the crucial conversation between society, the firm, and the investment community. In the absence of accurate, material, and accountable reporting—which we go on to suggest has several benefits—corporate management can deceive its stakeholders to a point where a ruinous collapse becomes inevitable.

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