Miller’s Monday Morning Message

Miller's Monday Morning Message
presented by ACM Consulting Inc.

Andrew Miller on strategy, operations, life balance and everything in between

Toronto – July 18, 2011 – The phone hacking scandal at News Corp just got a whole lot more interesting. The scandal has penetrated through many different organizations and forced the resignation of Les Hinton, CEO of Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal, as well as brought the names of a few prominent politicians into the fray. The scandal has now claimed more victims – News Corp's CEO Rebekah Brooks, who was arrested this weekend, and Paul Stephenson, London Chief of Police, who resigned yesterday. Even though both claim no wrongdoing, this new development can only prompt one question – who's next? This scandal seems to get worse as each day goes by. If you are a CEO reading this, what lessons can you learn? Here are just a couple:

  • Know what your staff are doing – As CEO, you are ultimately accountable for what happens in the organization, so even though you cannot be involved in the activities of every employee, you need to know what is going on in the company.
  • Surround yourself with smart, trusted advisers – The most successful companies have very strong senior management teams. Surround yourself with people who will not only challenge your ideas and develop great ones of their own, but also share the same morals and business ethics as you do.
  • The risk-reward principle – For every big payoff, there was someone that took a huge risk behind it. Be comfortable with the risks you are taking and determine if the possible outcome is worth the potential risks that may come to fruition.

In a scandal like this one, there are numerous places where blame can (and will) be placed, and probably all of it is justified. This presents us with a view of an organization where illegal snooping and phone hacking were pervasive. Remember this case study before embarking upon a morally questionable initiative.
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© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2011.

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