Sunday, 21 March 2010



Individuals and businesses develop a reputation whether they are planning to or not. As managers  we do well to take note of ours and that of our organisations and to decide what we need to do to maintain it or change it.   Reputations are built as a result of many actions performed over a long period of time and a good one represents  a valuable asset for the individual or business.

Here are some examples of people, professions and businesses that are currently experiencing problems with their reputational capital.

Toyota.  The well publicised concerns over the potential for problems with accelerator and brakes has impacted negatively on the Toyota reputation for quality. So far Toyota's actions to handle the issue seem to indicate that they are more interested in dealing with the safety issues, reassuring their customers and rebuilding their reputation than looking at the immediate bottom line impact.

Climate change scientists. The publication of emails that seemed to indicate that some scientists were less than open when their findings were subjected to critical review has caused ripples throughout their community.

Members of Parliament.  The publication of details  of  MP's expense claims has led to just 3 of the 646 members facing criminal charges. However the reputation of  parliament as a whole would seem to have been impacted negatively as a result. 

How can we test our own decisions and actions for impact upon our reputational capital?  We could consider. "How would I feel if this was on the  10 o'clock news tonight?"

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