Active alarm bells

In this chapter I will look at the three warning signs that things are ‘actively going wrong’ and are speeding the business towards failure: obsession, manipulation and evasion.


If an organisation or its leadership is obsessively pursuing a single goal, at the expense of others, this is likely to be dangerous because the goals it is neglecting or downgrading will remain important. Moreover, the fact that the latter might be more important than the chosen goal will not be realised, even when it is clearly true. This typically happens because the chosen goal is seen as an unquestionable good, something that people can commit themselves wholeheartedly to, whereas each and every goal needs to be scaled against ...

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