The Royal Wedding – What if Companies had a King and Queen?

April 26, 2011
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This Friday is the big day – England’s royal wedding of William, Prince of Wales, and Kate Middleton in Westminster Abbey. Some readers are already experiencing wedding hype fatigue while others just cannot get enough of it. The existence of a royal family is always a curiosity of countries, like the USA, that do not have one. In the USA, the President and first lady are the default king and queen. Political pundits often write about the benefits of having royalty.

This Friday is the big day – England’s royal wedding of William, Prince of Wales, and Kate Middleton in Westminster Abbey. Some readers are already experiencing wedding hype fatigue while others just cannot get enough of it. The existence of a royal family is always a curiosity of countries, like the USA, that do not have one. In the USA, the President and first lady are the default king and queen. Political pundits often write about the benefits of having royalty. One benefit is it allows the politicians in a nation’s government to focus on governing while the royalty can handle the tea-and-crumpet social aspects of its citizens.

What if companies had their own king and queen along side the CEO, COO, CFO, and all the other vice-presidents of the executive team?

A King and Queen in your Company?

You really have to use your imagination to think of how this would change the dynamics of operating a company and applying enterprise performance management methodologies imbedded with business analytics. Here are a few:

• Similar to citizens of countries with royalty, employees could have audiences with the king or queen requesting favors or petitioning appeals such as for a new office with a window or a salary increase.

• Much of the public relations work and interrogation by Wall Street investment analysts that consumes the valuable time of the executives could be shouldered by the king and queen. Royalty are effective at communicating in grandiose terms without requiring facts to support their statements. They can easily be substitutes for the executive team thus freeing up the executives to steer and control their company. New product releases can be ceremonial with heralded proclamations.

• Royalty is about diplomacy. Business management is about speed in accomplishing change. There is overlap, but with a king and queen a company can build strong brand recognition in its markets. Why have a CEO in a TV commercial when the queen (imagine Kate Middleton) can deliver that message?

• Courting important customers or prospects with large sales opportunities is critical for revenue growth. Meetings with them can be held at the king and queen’s palace rather than at a sterile headquarters building. The king and queen can meet-and-greet.

• During a nation’s times of crisis, such as a military war, in countries with royalty, the reigning king or queen address the country. This was highlighted in last year’s Academy Award winning movie, The King’s English. For a company, when a fierce competitor invades a company’s market or aggressively increases market share, of course it is the executive team’s job to redirect the strategy to combat the losses, but the king or queen would be the communicator to its managers and employees. Aligning employee work, effort, and priorities with the executive team’s strategy requires vision and inspiration. (Strategy maps, a balanced scorecard, and KPIs will help.) The executives can do the former, and the king and queen can do the latter – inspire.

• Similar to patronage workers, with jobs resulting to their political connections (and I grew up in Chicago understanding how patronage works), under-performing employees can be re-assigned to be staff of the king and queen. This will allow high performers, who waste much of their own energy figuring out ways to work around the entrenched employees who have lost their sense of urgancy, to accomplish strategic goals faster.

Will you watch any of the Prince William’s wedding pageantry? I bet so. Your reason why may give you thought to considering my fantasy thoughts above.