When being Corporate doesn’t work in A Crisis

Corporate means to be a part of a large group or Organisation. That’s all it means.

I don’t know how, or who, or when someone decided to carve out an entirely different kind of business culture or reality – their reality – that others followed down through the years.

Corporate behaviour and conduct is seen at local Council level, in the Accounting and Banking sectors, with organisations that have put themselves at the forefront of business, social and economic welfare inclusively.  It’s become an accepted and daily mode of operating. A unique style of  conduct that governs business, and a way of communicating that is not only rude, but uncaring.

And yet many people have accepted this Corporate behaviour without question. Why? It’s not normal.

It became even more obvious and apparent to me since the inception of the Covid-19 lockdown in NZ. As I see  it,  many business owners are going through a Crisis – many needing TLC.

Being wooden, and cold is not a normal response to a crisis situation by organisations purporting to serve the business community.  And yet this is exactly what I have seen happening in our local community.

People offer their services to a Corporate organisation,  and the corporate response is to not to accept that help but to get people who offered help to jump through hoops and to dominate in an area where they have no crisis management experience.

The corporate response is to act as gate keeper – only the privileged can enter.

The corporate response is to receive emails, read them, and not respond at all.

The corporate response is to trick people into the idea that they are the ‘go to’ people for everything business eg winz sunsidies, when that information has already been consolidated into one, on a publicly accessible website.

The Corporate response is to tell people ‘you should do a business continuity plan.’

The corporate response is to say we have business advisors (who actually happen to be corporate), working with business people. But they don’t tell you they’re offering the same advice pre-covid19 that clearly hasn’t worked.

The corporate response is to say ‘as kiwis we’re pretty resilient,’ and to not offer anything of real benefit except to phone them, where your call is sent to answer phone, and then you’re asked to send an email to ‘this’ address.

The corporate response is to list health related phone numbers which they got off someone else’s website (probably ours) and then go to the media and say ‘we used our initiative and we now have an 0800 number for business people to call.

The community response and those in the caring professions/community organisations like us think, these guys don’t give a damn.

2 Replies to “When being Corporate doesn’t work in A Crisis”

  1. And they never will give a damn. Behind the corporate walls are real people acting out the policies of their corporate leaders. Too bad if they don’t agree with what their leaders are doing and many don’t. But they fear they will lose their jobs. Go up to a person working in the corporate world and look them square in the eyes, and ask them if they agree on a moral, legal and ethical principle with what they are being asked to do.

    1. Hi Lisa, yes – you have raised a good point. We both know what the consequences can be if you do speak out. Reminds me of why Allan Hulse set up Culturesafe – New Zealand’s largest anti-bullying organisation – to protect or advocate for those who want to put an end to all forms of bullying. The fact that these real people acting out the policies of their corporate leaders – don’t agree, their job and future career prospects hangs in the balance.

      I think that post covid-19 lockdown, New Zealand will see some significant changes in business that will occur slowly but in a purposeful way. Everyone’s had time to reflect on different things. What they are prepared to tolerate, and what they won’t tolerate anymore. Some in the Corporate world may simply decide they’ve had enough with what they’re seeing – and do something about it.

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