Business guru warns on breaking bad habits

Niall Saul: “The problems we’ve seen in the Garda, the Department of Justice and the charity sector are fundamentally problems of culture. When you see similar cultural issues emerge in different organisations at the same time, you have to assume they are not institution specific, and may be present in other organisations or businesses too.”

Niall Saul: “The problems we’ve seen in the Garda, the Department of Justice and the charity sector are fundamentally problems of culture. When you see similar cultural issues emerge in different organisations at the same time, you have to assume they are not institution specific, and may be present in other organisations or businesses too.”

 

Better call Saul. Niall Saul, that is, the human resources consultant who was previously a senior executive at Irish Life & Permanent and Waterford Glass.

Saul warned a conference yesterday that the sort of blood-pressure inducing shenanigans that we have witnessed recently in the Garda Síochána and the charity sector – he politely called them “cultural weaknesses” – are likely just as prevalent right across Ireland’s corporate sector.

Don’t nod so furiously down the back, there. You’ll break your neck.

Saul, who tiptoed his way through the field of landmines that was the Fás debacle – he was one of the board members who dealt with the Rody Molloy fallout – is now chairman at the Symbio Business Solutions consultancy.


Leadership conference
Symbio hosted a leadership conference yesterday at the Gibson hotel in Dublin’s docklands, Harry Crosbie’s old bailiwick, that was also addressed by Julie Sinnamon, the chief executive of Enterprise Ireland, Zurich Life chief executive Anthony Brennan, and John Purdy, boss of IT outfit Ergo.

Saul said the recent scandals should be a “wake-up call” for the business community: “The problems we’ve seen in the Garda, the Department of Justice and the charity sector are fundamentally problems of culture. When you see similar cultural issues emerge in different organisations at the same time, you have to assume they are not institution specific, and may be present in other organisations or businesses too.”

Saul said the “cultural weaknesses” in the guards, charities and parts of the civil service were “organisational dysfunction, groupthink and a lack of accountability”. Financial industry, how are ya.

Saul said similar problems are likely present in many medium and large businesses.

Sinnamon spoke about EI’s Leadership Development programme, before skipping off early to join Taoiseach Enda Kenny and the launch of a fund for young entrepreneurs. She needn’t have rushed. Doesn’t everybody know Kenny is always late for everything?

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