Just read an article about a very large and old automobile corporation and their efforts to stop the downward slide by using incentives, branding tools, every other tool and method in the book and not to forget fighting whatever and whoever that disagrees (say newspapers) with them.
Nothing out of the ordinary, just a nice example of a very big, very old and very rigid hierarchical structure. A true manager-firm.
A perfect example of how the command-and-control structures spawns the typical management attitudes (direct and control) all the way through to how they behave in the marketplace.
What's closer to 'directing' than 'branding'? Throwing millions and millions at the 'consumer' until he succumbs and goes "OK, OK, I give up, I'll buy your stuff...".
Or using incentives and rebates and pestering the sales force to wear down their shoe-leather and motor-mouth any innocent bystander. Is that not command-and-control in disguise?
Or using extensive market research methods to ask the market about every step they take. Integrity anyone? Building credibility by asking me all the time?
They're all about using tools - marketing tools, sales tools, branding tools - and guess what, tools are what comes first to the command-and-control mindset.
The leader mindset does not do tools, it relies on visibility, credibility and integrity, none of which can be truly enhanced by tools. Personal stuff only in that department.
Why don't such corporations just shut up and do what they should do - make a product they believe in, stand by it proudly and show the way to the future.
Maybe they should start out by dumping the structure, get rid of the managing mindset and let the leaders out. Yeah, as if that would ever happen.
[PS: Some of the big manager-firms are moving, letting bloggers and evangelist transgress the rigid structures. Letting leaders develop outside the manager structure as it were. Good.]