Part 3 of 3: The Final 5 Elephants in the Room (And Why Attempting to Manage Them is Futile)

There are many elephants in business that are often overlooked and ignored. Here are the top five elephants in the room:

1. Corruption is a massive elephant that can take on many different forms. It often involves bribery and other illegal practices that are commonplace in business. Even when bad things happen, many bad people go unpunished, working in disguise.

2. Consulting businesses are a major sector of the industrial complex, but their practices are often unsatisfactory. Despite charging huge fees, consultants can be late, incompetent, and arrogant.

3. Startups face many obstacles and uncertainties, which often lead to failure. Even with the best practices, incubation can be costly and unproductive. Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) often fails to create new products and services, causing companies to lose out on disruptive opportunities.

4. Emotional biases drive business decisions, but executives and managers are rarely classified by the type of bias they exhibit. These biases can include jealousy, defensiveness, anxiety, and fear of change. While these biases are present in every workplace, it’s best to be kind to the sensitive elephant and avoid discussing them.

5. Leadership is a popular topic in the business world, with thousands of books and courses dedicated to its study. However, bad leaders are still commonplace, and their role in a company’s failure is often ignored and assigned elsewhere.

These elephants are not only present in business, but also in other areas like automation, education, and politics. Their impact can be enormous, yet they are often normalized and ignored. To address these elephants, we must confront them and ask tough questions. We must also be aware of elephant deniers, who refuse to acknowledge their existence or impact.

Dr. Andriole is a renowned expert in technology management, social media, analytics, and cloud computing. He has authored over 35 books on these subjects and consults with industry and government on all aspects of digital technology.

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