Volkswagen has shown how greedy and myopic traditional management in corporations is: short-term projects (shareholder interests, EBIT) are more important (or, shall we say the only thing that really matters to them) than delighting customers and our environment.
Volkswagen management claims that they will resolve the issues and regain our confidence. Really?! I seriously doubt it, for how credible is it when they claim that they change their mindset overnight?! Volkswagen has annihilated the trust of its customers and the public. Not too surprising, top management and whoever ordered the betrayal may just be viewed as a bunch of liars and possibly criminals and should be treated as such.
What could Volkswagen do?
- First of all, acknowledge that it cannot “fix” an internal, systemic and structural problem overnight.
- Second, listen to your customers and the public and our needs and those of the next generation (talking about environment concerns).
- Third, work on a credible and sustainable strategy how to regain our trust, acknowledging that this will take years if not decades.
One thing is for sure, the future of Volkswagen is uncertain. Shame on those managers who caused this. Instead of insisting on their bonuses, they should waive them and give to a fund to save work places who those who don’t get fat bonuses.
Alas, there is a good thing about Volkswagen and actually this is something we should be grateful for: We have been made aware that as consumers we have choices. Nobody forces us to buy Volkswagen. And, a crisis for Volkswagen is a chance for innovation. It is up to Volkswagen, whether or not it wants to be part of this future. There is a chance, yes, and it starts with listening and learning. Good luck!
Read Steve Denning’s analysis of Volkswagen’s crisis here.