Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Deja Vu All Over Again 

Whenever one is tempted to think companies learn from experience, situations like this come along to prove organizations make the same mistakes time and again. Everyone knew subprime lending was risky, but greed drove funders and lenders. Now, New Century is collapsing and there is finger-pointing in every direction. Once again, it is time to ask where the PR practitioners are? My guess is they trusted their employers to know what they were doing, and they will be laid off with the rest of the worker-bees.

It may be too much to ask PR to stand apart from organizational ethos, but someone should have been asking questions internally. It seems clear if anyone was, no one was listening. We speak to clients about preparedness for crises and ask them to plan for worst-case scenarios. Some do: Most don't. But, someone in every organization should be looking at potential end-games and how organizations can survive them. Unfortunately, greed produces willful blindness. It is one more reason why unregulated capitalism is dangerous.


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