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Without critical thinking, chances of success as a leader are minimal. In this paper COBOL Systems, a fictitious IT company which deals in software and hardware, will be used as a reference point. The paper will focus on the critical thinking problems plaguing COBOL and how they can be solved.
COBOL Systems manufactures and distributes computer software and hardware. It deals with several high-profile companies in the United States, taking care of their IT needs and offering technical support. The company was formed in 2002 by two young IT graduates with ambitious ideas on how to approach the IT segment. COBOL has since grown to become one of the largest IT firms in the United States. Revenues have grown and new branches have been opened to cater to serve their expanding clientele. It is not all good news however. The last 2 years have seen the company lose out on major deals to rivals, suffer a decline in market share, and launch underwhelming products. In January the board hired an auditing and consulting firm to help it determine what the problem was. There was a problem, that much was clear, but what was it?
COBOL has a hierarchy-oriented culture. This means the company is structured, controlled, and leans heavily towards stability, efficiency and doing things right. This is not surprising considering COBOL is run by young, dynamic and highly-educated people who know what to do and how to get it done fast. However, this culture is unbalanced and lacks a quality desirable in all successful firms. Efficiency is not effectiveness, and quick execution does not mean excellent execution. The company lacks critical thinkers who can combine dynamism and efficiency with analytical sharpness to harness its potential. For instance, COBOL recently launched new risk management software that increased efficiency by 20 percent. However, the presentation and marketing of this software was so poor
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