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Some people’s purpose is to serve as a warning to others.

Posted on Friday, July 16, 2010

Some people’s purpose is to serve as a warning to others.

by business speaker Andrew Darbyshire

Telstra must take note of the demise of AT&T as the dominant player in telecommunications throughout the United States. Beginning in 1984 when it was forced by the government’s antitrust laws into the breakup of the Bell System.

At the core of the company’s troubles had everything to do with people and managements failure to understand that.

The CEO at the time took the stance of instigating layoffs and cost cutting. But what AT&T needed more than financial measures, was a reason to exist, it had lost its purpose.

What gave employees of AT&T reason to go to work everyday was that they were delivering a telephone service for all, rich or poor, suburban or country. When that purpose was lost to competitors, the company’s employees lost there reason to come to work everyday and the rot set in.

Instead of trying to reestablish its purpose, AT&T’s CEO focused on charismatic leadership as the solution to the problems, which only made matters worse.

If Telstra isn’t careful, history will repeat itself through the forced shift in its reason for been, that been to provide basic telephone access for all Australians.

Andrew’s appointments include: * Past board member of the Song Room * Board member of Florey Neurosciences Foundation Council * Past Board member Zoos Victoria Foundation * Board member of Petstock Foundation * Past Chairman of CAPRA - Child Abuse Prevention Research Australia @ Monash * Chairman of The Click Foundation  * Fundraising Committee of SecondBite * Patron and Founder of Caitlin’s Retreat * Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors * Chairman of Rees Partners Advisory Group