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Culture Crash

For any organization undergoing far-reaching change, the lesson is the same: clinging to cultural habits that become outmoded is a recipe for disaster. It can lead to misuse of talent, reward leadership styles that have become dysfunctional, and undermine the company itself. Lehman became a prime example of this. Certainly, the firm could have avoided many disastrous business bets. But at a more fundamental level, beyond faulty risk models and stereotypes about greedy Wall Streeters, the Lehman story illustrates that the very attributes of a strong corporate culture that underlie a company’s success often carry the seeds of its destruction.

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