IBM: CEOs Willing To Adopt More Open Culture

Refer to Malaysia Technology News, where the the Global CEO Study 2012 found that CEOs are willing to adopt more open economy in their organisations.

Generally, CEOs in ASEAN countries identified the followings as the most important external forces that will impact their businesses.

  • People skills
  • Market factors
  • Technology factors

Internally, CEOs feel that human capital is the no.1 factor in sustaining a business for continuous growth, while customer relationships comes in second and product innovations settles for third place.

Therefore, it is essential that CEOs create more economic value of their businesses by focusing on the following three domains of activities.

1.) Empowering employees through values

2.) Engaging customers as individuals

3.) Amplifying innovation with partnerships

In terms of Empowering employees, it is concluded that organisations should adopt a more open and connected culture whereby employees must adopt characteristics of 1.) being collaborative, 2.) being more communicative, 3.) being more creative and 4.) being more flexible.

Many years ago, business guru Jack Welch (ex-CEO of General Electric) lectures in his book 'Winning' that the biggest dirty little secret in business is about being candor. Period.

"When you've got candor-and you'll never completely get it, mind you - everything just operates faster and better".

Mr. Welch has the opinion that being candid is about expressing oneself with frankness, to communicate straightforwardly or put forth ideas looking to simulate real debate - people just don't open up and usually tends to withhold comments or criticism - a bad culture for organisations (Welch thinks that the lack of candor is absolutely damaging for organisations).

There are three ways how candor leads to winning.

1.) Candor gets more people in the conversation.

2.) Candor generates speed by getting more people to become 'uneasy'.

3.) Candor cuts costs such as elimination of meaningless meetings and balance sheet reports that confirm what everyone already knows.

Welch thinks that it is hard to push for the culture of candor, because it is going against human nature and time-consuming, however, it can and should be done.

"To get candor, you reward it, praise it, and talk about it. You make public heroes out of people who demonstrate it. Most of all, you yourself demonstrate it in an exuberant and even exaggerated way - even when you're not the boss."

Welch opines in his book that being candid may land one into trouble and that's a risk for one to decide - candid comments will definitely freak people out. Nevertheless, candor is that dirty little secret and it can be done.

Go read the book.

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