is the title of a new book i'm reading. The author describes 5 stages of a failing company which are: 1. hubris born of success, 2. Undisciplined pursuit of more, 3. Denial of risk and peril, 4. Grasping for salvation, and 5. Capitulation to irrelevance or death.
Which is all interesting and stuff, but when I read the signs that occur for stage 4, and as I compared the US to a corporation - it got really interesting.
1. Grasping for a leader as savior.The board responds to threats and setbacks by searching for a charismatic leader and/or outside savior.
Mikeb: So we have obama to fill the role of leader as savior. We even call him the messiah.
2. Panic and Haste. Instead of being calm, deliberate, and disciplined, people exhibit hasty, reactive behavior, bordering on panic.
Mikeb: One only has to look at the torrid pace that comgress has been keeping, passing bills without reading them and so on. The panic mode of the first stimulus bill also comes to mind.
4. Radical change and "revolution" with fanfare. The language of revoultion and radical change characterizes the new era. New Programs! New Cultures! New strategies! Leaders engage in hoopla, sending a lot of energy trying to align and motivate people, engaging in buzzwords and taglines.
Mikeb: obama is all about revolution and change.
5. Hype precedes results. Instead of setting expectations low - underscoring the duration and difficulty of the turnaround - leaders hype their visions, they sell the future to compensate for the lack of current results, initiating a pattern of overpromising and underdelivering.
Mikeb: Check. Plenty of hype about what obama is gonna do. Lots of promises, few results.
6. Initial upswing followed by disappointments. There is an initial burst of positive results, but they do not last; dashed hope follows dashed hope; the organization achieves no buildup, no cumulative momentum.
Mikeb: I believe that this is in play now. There are several videos on drudge showing people shouting down politicians, including lloyd doggett. Dashed hope is right.
7. Confusion and cynicism. People cannot easily articulate what the organization stands for; core values have eroded to the point of irrelevance; people lose faith in their ability to triumph and prevail.
Mikeb: Look at the staff that obama has surrounded himself with. Useful idiots.
The discouraging thing is that these are markers of stage 4 - grasping for salvation. If you think of the US as a very dysfunctional company, we're about to drop into stage 5 - capitulation to irrelevance or death.