Pope Francis and the ...


Pope Francis

The more I’ve read about the Pope Francis, the more it sounds like he’s taking on the business world’s equivalent of a turnaround.

Consider the following words and snippets mined from Businessweek –

  • Much of what he found he didn’t like.
  • “I listened and tried hard not to draw conclusions.”
  • Bureaucracy
  • To get to the rank and file, he sets up separate meetings.
  • Didn’t want to wait six months to define the issues.
  • Dysfunctional
  • Keeps noodling over organizational issues. Outsiders suggest more decentralization.
  • “There is no simple solution.”
  • He wants to manage by principle rather than procedure.
  • Arrogance.
  • “There is no formal way to change attitudes. It takes communication and reinforcement.”
  • He’s relying on a broad, but simple conviction.
  • If the new job weighs heavily on him, he barely shows it.

Yes, these words come from Businessweek.

But not a recent issue.

They’re from the October 3, 1993 Businessweek cover story on Lou Gerstner and the job ahead of him in turning around IBM.

One sees similar language on what awaits Pope Francis.

Accentuating this point, the New York Times crafted this line in a recent story:

Yet, changing the style of the papacy is far easier than changing the Vatican – an ancient monarchy in which the pope is treated like a king, branches of the hierarchy are run like medieval fiefs and supplicants vie for access and influence.

I do enjoy the writing in the NYT.

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