Yahoo: A Company without a Core

May 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

Say this phrase out loud, “it is ok to lie if you are talented.”  Seriously, repeat it out loud.  Right now. Try it.  Sounds ridiculous, right?  Now try repeating it at your next company meeting…“Hey everyone, I think it is ok to lie if you are talented.” [kidding, don’t do that]

Good Companies Have a Core

Organizations are nothing without a strong and consistent culture.  Culture is a company’s core.  It defines whom a company hires, how it manages people, how it builds products and which products it builds.  In short, it is everything.  Without a core, talent in the company weakens and products suffer.  And the financial results always suffer.

No Exceptions

We have seen this story before.  “Ok, we admit this guy messed up, but he is a big producer, let’s give him a slap on the wrist.”  Sorry, that doesn’t work.  It rots an organization.  Employees find out.  It permeates the management team and it doesn’t stop with one exception.  Pretty soon, you have an organization with a lot of exceptions.  And your core belief system is just words on the wall.  Each time a manager mentions them employees roll there eyes and think, “what about Fred?”

It really is an easy decision

A well-run organization is consistent.  Consistency is so important.  It let’s employees know the rules.  It shows up in the products and the customers see it.  Bottom line, you can NOT make exceptions no matter how painful it is to lose an individual talent.  The decision is Fred vs. your company’s core…and that is an easy decision.

So what is taking Yahoo so long?

Yahoo is a mess right now.  Its products are stale.  I can’t think of one new innovation coming from the company.  They have had a turnstile in the CEO office.  Employee morale is terrible.  And its financial results show it.

And now the Board is struggling with what to do about its current CEO, who lied on his resume.  This struggle is a symptom.  Just as stale products, a lack of innovation and poor financial results are symptoms.  They are symptoms of a company without a mission.  Without a core.  Without buy-in from employees.  It is past time for the Board to do its job and end this circus.  To stand up and say, “Nothing is more important than our core!  Hey Scott…you’re fired.”

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