Hot Topic Friday: August 23

Friday Newsletter Personal leadership



Happy Friday! Here are my August 23 Hot Topics and how they relate to advancing culture or leadership.

Hot Topic 1: Hey Shareholders! You Are No Longer Everything. 

Source: The New York Times

What It’s About: Nearly 200 chief executives, including the leaders of Apple, American Airlines, Accenture, AT&T, Bank of America, Boeing, BlackRock and others representing some of America’s largest companies, issued a statement that redefines the purpose of a corporation. This NYT article claims, “No longer should the primary job of a corporation be to advance the interests of shareholders.” The group known as the Business Roundtable, declared companies must also invest in employees, deliver value to customers and deal fairly and ethically with suppliers.

Why It’s Important: Holy cow. What took these folks so long to arrive at this conclusion? DUH! Those of us committed to building great cultures and the importance of caring for all stakeholders have always known this to be true. However, better late than never as the saying goes. Now CEOS, let’s start doing stuff to show you mean it. (I wonder if Wells Fargo, Audi, Disney and other members of recent reported scandals signed it)? 

Hot Topic 2: Employee Happiness and Business Success. 

Source: The Economist

(Preface: I’m almost embarrassed for The Economist publishing this now. I had to double check that it wasn’t August 1960 versus August 2019. Seriously). 

What It’s About: A study by Gallup, covering nearly 1.9 million employees across 230 separate organizations in 73 countries found that employee satisfaction had a substantial positive correlation with customer loyalty, and a negative link with staff turnover. Furthermore, worker satisfaction was met with higher productivity and profitability. The research also showed that improvements in employee morale precede gains in productivity, rather than vice versa. 

Why It’s Important: My first dumbfounded reaction is, “No S%#t.” You mean Gallup has to gather data from almost 2 million workers to come to that conclusion? Our followers could have confirmed the same outcomes for no cost. Why do so-called leaders, executives and shareholders still need convincing? It’s like somehow The Business Roundtable referenced in Hot Topic 1, and the esteemed Economist had an epiphany within the same week. So here we are, approaching 2020, and maybe we’ve finally turned the philosophical corner on investing in PEOPLE and CULTURE for greater, sustainable results… Well at least while business is good and shareholders are happy. Thank goodness bots and machines are easier to manage. Oops, sceptical not cynical. 

My Weekly Wine Recommendation (Thanks to Vivino):

Flight & Feathers No. 37 Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford Napa Valley 2017. 

[Picture and ratings provided by Vivino.]

And finally! Here’s Cecil’s Bleat of the Week!

“The beginning is the word and the end is silence. And in between are all the stories.” Kate Atkinson

Bye for now!

– Lorne Rubis

Incase you Missed It:

My latest Lead In podcast.  

My latest blog.

Season 3 of Culture Cast

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