Last month, Uber’s new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi used Linked In to broadcast Uber’s new cultural norms. Like many an incoming CEO, he must work quickly to address negative aspects of his predecessor’s legacy. In the case of Travis Kalanik a legacy described by many as toxic.
Back in June 2017, an independent report on Uber’s workplace, commissioned by its Board, outlined 47 recommendations including defining values in ways that made them more accessible and easily understood and soliciting employee input on improving the culture. That’s refreshing, but what a pity it takes a near meltdown to trigger such action.
In traditional companies, these issues would be classified as matters of corporate culture, as defined by the good old (read tired old) Vision, Mission and Values at created by a senior committee with more regard for how they look on the website than how implementable they are by employees. Modern companies realise that the company is the brand … is the company. So, what Uber is doing now is adjusting the behaviours that should represent its brand in future.
And this is indeed a CEO responsibility; for he or she is the brand manager. As Robert Copeland said (forgive his misogyny, as he came from an earlier time):’To get something done, a committee should consist of no more than three men, two of whom are absent.’ Continue reading