Yesterday Target Corporation announced that it was closing its 133 Canadian stores. This announcement comes less than two years after they launched their first Canadian stores in March 2013. According to Target CEO Brian Cornell the decision came down to the fact that it would take six more years before they would see a profit on their Target Canada subsidiary.
So everyone is talking about the importance of “transparency” in business these days – customer transparency, financial transparency, even radical transparency. Do you think you organization is open and transparent? Maybe your company uses social media to continually engage your constituents in every possible social media vehicle or maybe your CMO has been a little “overly transparent” when on more than one occasion he shared a corporate secret via his new blog. Sure you’ll talk about your wins, your new strategy, or your latest promotions but have you ever been transparent with your failures? Have you ever published an annual report that detailed your failed initiatives and the failures in your operations?
Mentors aren’t supposed to be Sherpas carrying your heavy pack for you up the mountain but they are meant to help guide you, provide context, and offer their advice. Too often I see organizations trying to shirk their responsibility in developing future leaders by suggesting that personal development is the responsibility of the employees. Certainly the employee is responsible for taking “ownership” of their own development but that is a far cry from organizations not having any responsibility. When this gap exists it will be at the organizations own peril – they will struggle to replace departing leaders with qualified candidates and eventually they will battle with the Peter Principle.
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