Thursday, October 15, 2009
It is hard to change the culture of a company and succeed. Here is a fellow who tried and failed and in the process, wrecked a company. CIT, a former client of many years ago, was never a fast-growth or trendy business, but it was a solid one. It provided essential funding for tens of thousands of middle market and small businesses. The present CEO decided that wasn't enough and set about to spur growth. Of course, he took on the trendy businesses of the moment that were fated to collapse along with the rest of the market. Now CIT is edging into bankruptcy and the CEO is quitting. What will happen to the company? It is too early to know, but there is a cautionary lesson here. Change culture carefully. The process of creating a new company out of an old one is a slow task. Superimposing growth onto an old framework is dangerous.