Why Is Employee Loyalty Dead?

I just read “Why Leaders Don’t Lead and Employee Loyalty Is Dead” by Bruce Kasanoff | Contributor | forbes.com and I felt compelled to respond.

Kudos to you Bruce for your bandwidth of insights, and center of gravity | line of sight on why employee loyalty is dead.


Business is not about making as much money as possible | a preference for buying (body shopping) | trading labor for money rather than developing talent. When this is the norm—the chill of mortality focuses on managing for economic decline | not a mea culpa on the death of employee loyalty.

Never allow someone to be your priority, while allowing yourself to be their option. —Mark Twain

Instead, business and leadership are about creating value for all employees (stakeholders)—not submissively for investors and shareholders.

Culture is a hot topic everywhere these days. Leaders around the globe are talking about how to develop an agile | durable culture, implement a lean one, overcome culture clash in mergers and acquisitions, and many other caveats of culture change.

The reality in these problem sets is that most of these leaders are focusing their efforts on climate and not dealing with the deeper, potent subject of culture.

Climate is the shared perceptions | attitudes about business and the company. Often, as Tim Kuppler insists, the most visible area of focus on culture, which is really climate, is all the effort being expended in companies to measure and improve employee engagement.

Culture in business and companies is the shared beliefs and assumptions about business and a company’s expectations | values. They’re unwritten rules or often times mokita (truths we all know but agree not to talk about) and perceived expectations that drive behavior in business and companies.

Edgar Schein contends 90% of our behavior in companies is driven by cultural rules. When we face problems | challenges | goals it helps to understand the aspects of our culture that either inhibit or support effectiveness.

A climate can be locally created by what leaders do, what circumstances apply, and what environments afford. A culture can evolve only out of mutual experience and shared learning. —Edgar Schien

Similarly to Tim Kuppler, I too agree there is value in understanding how both climate and culture are influencing our work to effectively manage problems | challenges | goals. The results of a focus on changing the climate, Kuppler contends, may lead to some quick wins, like managers temporarily engaging employees more effectively. However, as he insists, these improvements may be short-lived unless a culture shift occurs.

When will leaders treasure individuals and interactions over process and tools?

When will leaders stop innovatively doing the same thing over-and-over-again (normalizing the abnormal; it’s still abnormal) innovatively assuring investors different innovative results or end states (tragically more of the same)?

Organizations do not make people | people make organizations. Neither do job titles make employees | employees make job titles and “they bequeath them with power.”

Employees are not brainboxes, brilliant fact collectors, tick-the-right-boxers, or plug-and-players who fit neatly and comfortably within political correctness.

Companies are complex systems made up of people with diverse life experiences | strengths | desires | challenges.

Each stakeholder has their own story to tell and must have a chance to tell their story.

When will companies and their leadership discover and work-through, or past, their story patterns, and not just the content?

Dominant narratives about business (they see what they want to see | hear what they want to hear) must be rewritten—discerning the future requires transforming business narratives, as Thomas Goetz contends, from merely interesting to truly world-changing.

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift. —Albert Einstein