Few would argue that the current international banking crisis is the biggest example of corporations working in an unsustainable manner. Barclays Bank's Salz review placed the blame squarely with their culture of short-term gain.
But a careful appraisal of nearly every sector of our society will find organisations locked into sort term, mechanistic behaviour patterns, with over-emphasis on attracting new business, and not caring about the customers and services that they already have. What is more fundamental is that millions of ordinary workers across the globe are currently incentivised and paid based on these values.
But what has not been clear, is how such cultures should be replaced, and how we are to keep our workforces correctly motivated. A clue can be found in recent legislation aimed at banking (Basel 3, Solvency 2).
More emphasis has to be made on getting things right.... first time.... every time.
How do we do that? We measure the quality of the data that our businesses manufacture, and we reward ourselves based on how well we are doing. Data quality is easily measurable, and the results are unambiguous and far clearer than a customer satisfaction survey or industry awards.