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BHS - a memory of what might have been contained within the pages of a lesson in mismanagement and non-existent leadership.
What is leadership? Well there are a number of definitions including the Kouzes and Posner view that a great leader is characterised by the five practices of:
Others may talk about leadership in terms of enabling the creation of innovative solutions, of delivering great customer service, of creating the conditions in which the organisation can grow and flourish, or of creating a strong culture with high levels of employee engagement.
Whatever your preferred definition, it’s a fair bet that you wouldn’t see true leadership in terms of the creation of personal wealth at the expense of employees, customers, investors, suppliers and the business itself. It’s also fair bet that you wouldn’t be content to sit back and preside over a dying organisation, ignoring the changing marketplace and failing to deliver products and services which resonate with customers.
The news that no buyer has been found for BHS is a tragedy for its employees, its loyal customers and for the diversity of the high street. In time to come when the true story of its demise unfolds, the legacy of this once great British institution will sadly be confined to a memory of what might have been contained within the pages of a lesson in mismanagement and non-existent leadership.