In 2007, Siemens hired its current CEO, Peter Loscher. This outsider from GE was brought in to clean house after a global bribery scandal that almost toppled the German engineering giant.
Loscher moved quickly to shut down struggling divisions, fund promising new businesses, and replace almost all of the top executives. He quickly credits the scandal as the key enabler in bringing about the rapid changes and the recent all-time high profits and record dividends.
The obvious question is why did it take a huge crisis to wake up Siemens?
A courageous leader pushes and achieves Siemens-like change without a gun-to-the-head crisis! On an on-going basis, it is up to the leader to analyze the current situation, look for the problems and opportunities, and then select the highest impact issue to be tackled. He or she then regularly communicates with the organization regarding the change, as well as the mechanism for constantly seeking input, watching the implementation and making course corrections.
Gutsy leaders work hard to constantly create the excitement of being part of an organization that is tackling the future with gusto.
Unfortunately, too many managers are like the pre-Loscher Siemens bred, not tackling to challenging issues. Tell us, in a few words, why you think such managers typically back away from the tough decisions?