Random Scribbles: The world’s best leaders

[Random Scribbles are my occasional posts of half-formed thoughts, half-baked ideas, and off-the-cuff observations.]

I was recently made aware of a corporate management disaster. A British entertainment retailer that was going through restructuring laid off 190 employees, including the person in charge of the corporate Twitter account. This now former employee tweeted–to 61,500 followers–the layoff as it was happening. One tweet said “Mass execution, of loyal employees who love the brand.” You don’t have to have an MBA to realize what a public relations nightmare this is.

Further down in the article, you learn that the company is being run during the restructuring by the consulting firm Deloitte. Among its many services, Deloitte runs what they call “Deloitte University,” a “learning environment” at a campus in Texas “where leaders thrive and ideas prosper.” The tag line for Deloitte University is “Growing the world’s best leaders.”

What strikes me is the fact that Deloitte didn’t realize they had laid off the person in charge of the Twitter account. It seems to me that somebody was asleep at the wheel. I personally don’t have a Twitter account, nor am I particularly interested in one. But to ignore this critical piece of the company’s PR structure demonstrates a blind spot in whatever strategy Deloitte is trying to create for this firm.

Management should transcend media. Media are just that–a medium for your message. A good manager would be able to see how all the parts fit together, regardless of whether it’s new media or old media. The fact that people from Deloitte failed to do this is scary. If this is the kind of leader that is the world’s best, then we are all doomed.

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