It takes years to build a brand into a leader; years of adherence to stated values and grueling work building trust.
And that is what the Better Business Bureau did for nearly 100 years.
It takes far less time to destroy or, at the least, badly damage a leadership brand.
And that is what the BBB has done; apparently for money.
Both Friday night’s ABC program and Atty. Gen. Richard Blumenthal’s attack focused on the two-year-old BBB marketing tool to assign letter grades ranging from the low of F to the top A+ rating to hundreds of thousands of businesses.
The marketing tool that is destroying the BBB isn’t sophisticated or subtle—more a case of grades for money.
Old story; buy a membership and raise your grade.
The scheme wasn’t universally popular, but the leadership had the leverage.
Some bureaus also had questions about the plan – developed and tested in the southern California chapter – and refused to follow it. The five chapters finally got with the program after the council threatened to expel them.
The result is betrayal, betrayal of the consumers who trust the ratings, of companies that work hard for good grades and the employees who just work hard.
Pressure; that is what leadership uses when it wants to have its own way, whether the leadership is an organization or an individual. And the leadership always knows exactly what kind of pressure to apply.
What do you do when your leadership starts applying pressure?
Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/31019817@N02/3254784742/