Outgoing 'chief transformation officer' at Telecom, Frank Mount, sent a farewell email to staff. This is the full text.
My dear friends,
I trust you are well enough as the week rolls to an end. You've every reason to be well. Telecom New Zealand is one of the best run telcos anywhere in the world. Over the past two years you've changed the company for the better and truly affirmed its transformation. Don't allow anything to put you off or let the progress slip backwards.
The heroic efforts of you - telephone people - in completing every Undertaking month to date on time, proudly demonstrates the capability to produce hugely at the company level, the country level, within Asia, within the entire global telecoms industry. No other company has accomplished what you have done in this space - it's a new benchmark and will be historic as time goes by.
Leadership has found its way to the centre. Leaders at every level of the rank and file are stepping up to be held accountable. After all is said and done - when all of the noise subsides and it's quiet enough to be calm and truly open and honest - it's your company.
You own its present and its future. You run its complex daily routines and make it work well for thousands of customers day in and day out, year in and year out. The people in the field living the values create brand-preference for the dedicated Sales folks to leverage. It's not magic.
Becoming New Zealand's most preferred company will not be handed over on a plate - it's up to you. And that's why thousands of customers experience the helpfulness, the dedication to excellence, every day. It's you that delivers the great architecting, planning, providing, assuring, building, operating, billing, collecting, procuring, securing, and support functions - not the press. Brand preference is up to you.
You see the slips, trips and falls we make as humans and it is you - all of you - that catch them every day and recover so well. Advanced telecommunications is difficult and customer demands are proportionate to customer service. The more attention one pays to customers the more they demand.
The final message I ask you let me share about leadership is this: As a sincere loyal, dedicated member of a team one has to have a complete grasp of the objective, the best way forward, the rules, the nuances and the expectations of performance. In the absolute final analysis the best interests of the team outstrip the interests of the individual. In time of crisis it is usually true that the thinking that got a company to that point is not the thinking that will get the team to the next level - this is for many reasons.
As an example, when a person gets too close to a serious problem, passion takes over and that passion can in fact become a weakness to the organisation - not always but it can. As humans when we encounter problems there is a tendency to intensify what didn't work the first time and then try a third time with even more intensity. The way out of crisis is calm, dispassionate critique and calculated firm resolve to radically alter the course and try something different.
The crises Telecom faces come from external pressures, not from the networks. Attacking Telecom is attacking your great work. If it were fairly placed so be it. I don't think it is and I urge you to support your Executive, his top team, and his middle team - the whole team - as the ship turns from rough seas to safe harbour.
I've made arrangements to go home to America for a few weeks and then come back to visit wonderful New Zealand as a tourist. If you are up for it - I'll in to see you. God bless you all and always wherever life takes you here, now and forever. Go well!
Group Chief Transformation Officer