In a recent blog post by Alan Berkson http://blog.intelligistgroup.com/the-new-fud-full-unwanted-disclosure/ he describes what “The New FUD: Full Unwanted Disclosure” has morphed into and how it is effecting the business landscape. (FUD is Fear, uncertainty and doubt and full-wanted disclosure)
His example is the recent wholesale firing of 50 (a total of 190) employees at HMV Group PLC (hmv.com), a UK company who recently filed for insolvency. This article describes what happened next on social media via Twitter from the HMV Twitter account. Quite telling in its own right.
Social Media can be a force for good, bad and indifference whether one likes it or not. Companies that have paid little heed to this market force should begin to enmeshes themselves in both proactive, mitigation and reactive strategies for when the tables are turned.
But, let’s be fair, it is not just Social Media, it is not just Internet related technologies, it is a world where intimidation of the big guy and the small insignificant gal can be equalized by placing the right letter, the right hashtag or the inexpensive phone call to the right people.
The old adage you never know who someone knows or six degrees of separation is alive and well living in our global society today. Yes the Internet has had a major role in the ease and expansion of this premise, but again, it is just not the Internet.
A friend had some work done by a vendor. The vendor was paid and didn’t quite finish all aspects of the job. Obviously the vendor doesn’t feel they need to return because they received their entire payment. In the old days, very sound thinking.
But that was the old days. Today, it’s very dangerous thinking. The vendor took cash and didn’t charge sales tax. I don’t know of one governmental unit not in economic distress. Think how fast those state Sales Tax Auditors will converge for a feeding frenzy if they knew…
The vendor may or may not have a license in the area in which they worked. Those town coffers need a fill’n; so again one small complaint will have the appropriate auditors either seeking penalties or inspectors looking at the work and deciding the fate of their license.
Then let’s go back to the cash payment. How much you want to bet it never made it to the company’s books? You guessed it; the Income Tax Auditors can also have a field day.
Class Action Lawsuits
The class action is and has been for some time the vogue method of change in corporate America. Do something wrong, prove that an entire group of people have been victimized by either one or many defendants and viola, a class action.
Today, a quick look at your local papers show a class action lawsuit involving models against modeling agencies, and victims of SuperStorm Sandy against the insurance companies and the National Flood Insurance Program and FEMA, and that’s only in New York.
Thinking, Reacting and Understanding the Consequences
So, before you react, move, plan or change a business process you need to think about the consequences of your actions. Thinking involves planning, decision trees, testing and revising those plans and finally execution. Sometimes it can take seconds, minutes or hours; other times is can take weeks, days or months.
But whether your decision took only a second or two and it seems that the answer is simple and straightforward it is always worth taking a step back and reviewing.
On larger issues, SBA * Consulting and its cadre of C-Level and Senior Level Managerial Consultants can act as your sounding board; investigate alternatives; bring to bear our collective business experiences to assist.
Our seasoned CxO’s be they strategists, legal beagles, supply chain, human resource, marketing or any other discipline can facilitate the process and provide alternatives that can help eliminate silo thinking and negative consequences that might just bury your business.