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A Finnish Icon in Difficulties

Nokia's difficulties just continue. This week 24/7 Wall St. chose the 15 most hated companies in America using sophisticated and multiple criteria. Nokia scored second on this list. How is it possible?

For the last five years or more Nokia has been consolidating its position as the leading mobile phone company in the world. This has included developing tight financial and managerial systems and procedures, squeezing suppliers, cutting cost, trimming overhead, reducing personnel and offering a continuos flow of ”new” products aimed at every market segment there is. The result of all these efforts have been impoverished suppliers that hate Nokia, dismotivated personal who spend endless time in different forms of committees, mediocre products , dissatisfied customers and disappointed shareholders. Nokia’s ”success” in the 24/7 Wall St. survey comes as no surprise, it is only a confirmation of what a period of micromanagement, bureaucracy and last but not least a culture fear and can do to a great company.

Stephen Elop has a tough task. He needs to bring a leadership that re-inspires relationships on every level at Nokia and  with all its constituents. Is he the type of inspiring leader that is required? And if he is, will he have the strength required or will he be absorbed by the cultural drift? And last but not least - will he have the support of the board to bring about the changes required?

After 100 days there is still very little tangible. And Nokia is still betting on MeeGo while its competitors are gaining market share with the help of the winning smartphone platform Android.