Susan Cramm writes on how failure happens gradually, not all at once for example:-
The AIG debacle revealed a classic illustration of this in the denial of responsibility by ex-CEO Maurice Greenberg. He said, “I don’t feel any responsibility at all…how can I be responsible for something that happened when I’m not there?”
Let’s get real. Mr. Greenberg worked at AIG for 38 years and left less than 4 years ago. He hired the people currently in charge and “was behind the expansion push that included creating the financial productions unit that nearly sank the firm after he left in 2005.” With due respect to the octogenarian, is this any way for a grown up to behave?
Everyone knows that things fail gradually, then all at once. The seeds of AIG’s destruction were surely planted, watered and tilled by Mr. Greenberg and his fellow leader-gardeners
The comments made ring true. If we think about it we can all probably find examples in our own experience. Let us for a moment think about failed projects/programmes. In my experience of many different types of project over many years, the seeds of problems tend to be sown right at the beginning. Whether they grow and flower into failure depends on the actions taken by all the players. As is so often the case much depends on the governance framework in place and the culture underpinning that framework. In my opinion culture and values have much to do with ultimate success or failure. I suspect that in many if not all instances of institutional failure analysis will eventually reveal the role played, or not played, by culture and values.