Cato the Elder was so convinced that Carthage had to be destroyed that he called for its destruction at the end of every speech he gave – whether or not the speech was about the city. That’s what I call focus.
What should E&C professional focus on? What is our Carthage that must be destroyed?
For years, I have argued that it should be retaliation. When retaliation occurs, employees no longer speak up. Risks become invisible. The organization become vulnerable.
But what gives any employee the temerity to retaliate against another? Beyond a twisted sense of justice, there is often a belief that the victim will not speak up, and that even if he does speak up the perpetrator will get away with it. In other words, the organizational culture supports retaliation.
Perhaps retaliation is our Carthage. If so, its destruction will require a special weapon: a strong ethical culture.
It’s time to suit up.