Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Vatican, Take a Lesson from Exxon's Mistakes!

A little light bulb went on for me this morning, when I read an article at Reuters, analyzing how Exxon's corporate "religion" and bullying tactics are now affecting its bottom line:

Insight: When the Exxon way stops working

It's instructive to read the article and see the many ways in which the Vatican hierarchy is caught in the same trap, down to the insistence on all dressing alike and maintaining inherited corporate dogma - despite changing times and against all obstacles (it tries to squelch - rather than adapt to).  

Here are some conclusions the Vatican resists (just like Exxon):
"The game has changed. You can't act like you have all the power anymore," said the chief executive officer of a close competitor.
 Or as Joe Tatusko, fund manager ... who holds Exxon stock, put it: "You have to share".
In a section of the article, Reuters calls, "THE RELIGION OF COMPLIANCE," Exxon's way of doing things rings so reminiscent of the Vatican:

That buttoned-down culture, underpinned by a disciplined, top-down management system, has long been credited with making the company the most efficient operator in the business: strict standardization means it can employ the same business approach around the world and save money.

Its uniformity of thinking extends even to dress sense - the CEO of one rival oil firm joked that male Exxon staff invariably turn up for meetings in blue suits, white shirts and red ties.
Sticking to the "compliance manual" (so to speak) the Vatican (and Exxon) have put themselves in straight jackets.  But every time the straight jacket effect kicks in, the "obstacle" they are trying to squelch into submission is blamed, rather than the antiquated "compliance manual" itself.
http://www.stellarliving.us/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Monkey-Trap.jpgI'm thinking of the proverbial "monkey trap" where a piece of food is left in a jar.  A jar a monkey can put a hand into.  But the jar opening is so narrow that only an empty hand fits.  Once the monkey gets hold of the food, however, it will not let go.  So, like the Vatican, like Exxon, the monkey is stuck!  An angry monkey, because it can't retrieve what it wants and it refuses to let go.  

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