Back in the Saddle

November 22, 2007

Back in the Saddle

english-saddle.gifReturned back home from my trip overseas in time for Thanksgiving. It is always reassuring to witness how the topic of reputation is so relevant no matter what part of the world you are in. Of course, did some reading on the plane back and found some good quotes and items of interest to share.
This one from Howard Stringer, CEO of Sony, in BusinessWeek about what he plans to do after his gig at Sony ends. Stringer says: “God, sink giggling into the sea, I think. I have no interest in being a CEO again if I survive this intact, which in itself will be something of a miracle.”  Stringer is right about making it to the end of his tenure. CEO lifespans are getting shorter and turnover higher. We at Weber Shandwick will be releasing an update on our CEO Departures study next week and CEOs of the world’s largest companies are departing approximately every 5 days.  Good news for Stringer however. I think that since he has made it thus far, he might see it to the end which on average is 4-5 years.

Stanford University, McKinsey and LSE’s Center for Economic Performance ranked 12 countries on their management practices. Overall, US companies are the best managed followed by Germany, Japan and Sweden. Not bad for being recognized as having a good country reputation for well-managed corporations. The worst managed country awards go to India and Greece. The UK is in the middle of the continuum with its neighbors’ France and Italy.

On other management variables, best people management (performance and merit-based) goes to the US, UK and India. The best operational management kudos (continuous improvement and shopfloor operations) go to Japan, Germany, France, Italy and Sweden. Family run companies have the worst reputations for management (apparently this brought down UK scores since they are in abundance there). Interestingly too is that nearly 9 out of 10 managers report that their companies are better managed than average. The researchers politely conclude that managers need to get a better handle on their firm’s true management abilities. They are too optimistic!

Happy thanksgiving wherever you are!

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Leslie Gaines-Ross
Leslie Gaines-Ross
lesliegainesross@gmail.com

As Weber Shandwick’s Chief Reputation Strategist, I focus on the ever changing world of reputation. For the past 25 years, I have relentlessly observed, researched and commented on the rise and fall of reputations.

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