The Next Pope Must Be A CEO

March 8, 2013 in Daily Bulletin

The Roman Catholic Church, writes the Economist, is the world’s oldest and most successful multinational with over a billion customers, a million employees, possibly the best recognized logo in the world, and a global distribution network that is finding success in emerging markets. The current CEO has just retired and the board of directors must select the next one. This new Pope will have a lot to learn from chief executives around the world:

  • The new Pope will have to deal with the ongoing sex scandal. This won’t be the first time a business has had to deal with a problematic workforce. Companies have found that the best way to do so is to punish guilty employees and treat the institution’s reputation as its most valuable asset.
  • The Catholic Church has also spread into too many product areas. Its core focus should be on providing spiritual goods. Yet these days it also provides banking and portfolio services. It should divest itself of these assets and focus on what it does best.
  • Most of its growth is coming out of emerging markets in Latin America. But appointing a leader from there isn’t enough. Instead it must follow the lead of other companies and open a second headquarters – or at least outsource important functions – to offices set up in these states.
  • The next Pope should also be concerned about start-ups. As successful as the Catholic Church has been in Latin America its market share of the faithful has declined from 90% to 72% in the past century. Pentecostalism is just one of the many rivals it faces.

Read more about how the Church can deal with these start-ups, how the Church should organize centers of excellence, and why Pope Benedict XVI was a bad choice for the top position over here.

Source: The Economist