How’s about this royal commission, ay?
It’s hard to watch.
Big, robust, established brands taking a bashing every which way, and rightly so. There’s nowhere to hide!
I was talking to a friend who works at AMP and she rolled her eyes showing me an article about the sordid details of dodgy director activity; saying Thomas Mort (who co-founded Australian Mutual Provident – AMP) must be rolling in his grave!
I got wondering…
Would the ghost of Mr Mort really be wailing and gnashing his teeth somewhere – completely deflated at what his baby had become?
What did he want AMP to be when it was a wee fledging?
So I interneted…
And I scored!
From the Argus (a popular old Melbourne newspaper) of 1877 Feb 9th, a reporter wrote this of the ambition of the infant institution:
“Moved by such spectacles of bereavement and destitution, and doubtless observing that comparatively few had availed themselves of life assurance, our founders combined together to establish a society not for money-making, but for mutual aid, and to induce all within the sphere of their influence to unite in the good cause.”*
And again, quoting the Founders…
“It is hoped the directors and superior officers will never be found wanting in vigilance, sagacity and probity in administering their sacred trust; but I have often tried to impress upon the members, and I take this public opportunity of reiterating that a heavy responsibility rests upon them also. It lies with them to fill up vacancies on the board and they should see to it that their votes are never given on any ground of mere personal friendship or antipathy, or because of the importunities of candidates. Always seek out and support trustworthy men who have the best interests of the society at heart and who have shown the ripe fruits of prudence, knowledge and experience in other walks of life.”*
Eeeeppp – yes, I think there might be some Earth moving going on!
It makes you wonder how many other creaky old founders would be rolling in their graves at times like this, despairing of the nobility of the institutions they had bled to breathe life into…
Why does this happen?
Is it the inevitable side-effect of corporate growth?
When an organisation starts becoming successful and piles on the employees, does the essence of the Founder get further and further away from the heart of the business? (Not to mention once the Founder passes on!)
Is it realistic to expect hundreds, thousands and sometimes tens of thousands of employees to demonstrate the same intensity, altruism, guts, passion, conviction and single-mindedness the Founder may have had?
We worry about this at MamaTray and have developed ‘Like A Founder’ – a program to rediscover and infuse the Founder’s energy, ambitions and character back into an organisation.
Our ultimate aim is to make sure graves, and more importantly, legacies are still respected, optimised and celebrated.
If you’d like us to help your organisation get in touch with its inner Founder, just drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
These wise words come from the brain of Mandy Lawler.