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Skeletons in the cupboard? No more cover-ups

Blair McPherson - former Director, Author and Blogger
A fresh start means no more skeletons in the cupboard. No more cover ups. The outsourcing contract that was going to save us millions, which hasn’t and is going to be expensive to get out of. The contacts we were so keen to win we undercut the competition and now we are losing money and providing a substandard service. The IT project which over promised and is underdelivering. The big budget hole hidden from the auditors by a cunning us of smoke and mirrors. Everything out in the open. Hence the expression ,bring out your dead.
This was how the new chief executive apparently introduced himself. But for me what was more revealing about the man and his leadership style was the toilet brush he had on his desk! Something he drew to the attention of first time visitors to his office as away of explains how he saw his role. However do not jump to the conclusion that this crudeness indicates a brash self made man who has worked his way up from the shop floor and calls a spade a spade. No this is a public school and oxbridge educated fellow with no background in this business but a lot of useful contacts.
It is of course true that you can’t turn round a failing organisation until you know the full extent of its failings and unresolved problems. It’s also true that you can’t begin to address these problems until the board, the senior management team and everyone else in the organisation accepts the true extent of the problems rather than trying to convince outsiders and themselves that the problems have been exaggerated, are no worse than other organisations facing similar challenges, need to be looked at in context of Brexit, Covid, state of economy / public finances  or are temporary in nature.
So it makes a lot of sense when tasked with turning round a failing organisation to start by getting everyone to come clean with the full extent of the unresolved problems. As a short and snappy expression to get that message across “Bring out your dead” does the job.

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