Whether it is a new strategy, new product or whatever, teaching is really important in Corporate AMerica. But so few corporations are good at actual teaching. They barf up information in an hour or a day, then expect us to learn it on our own. There is no reinforcement, check for understanding, etc. When I taught, I gave what I needed to teach in 10 minutes, spent a period of time reinforcing it, then continued to loop back to it. This never happens in Corporate America. How much productivity is lost by this?
A viral video shows police forcibly removing a doctor from an airplane who was involuntarily bumped due to overbooking and refused to leave because he had to work the next day. It was disturbing to watch him get literally dragged off the plane. So much for customer service. The CEO made it worse by sending out a passive aggressive email that more-or-less dissed the passenger for refusing to give up his seat. It doesn’t bode well for United Airlines and the CEO that they can’t think of a single way to a) not overbook the tickets and b) lure a single person off the plane with some sugar. Offer first class for a year, 8 all-expense paid tickets, a free vacation for a week, and to fly the bumped person on the corporate jet – then see what happens. P reasonably, I wouldn’t get off the plane for an 800 voucher either – I wouldn’t trust United to deliver in that there would be some fine print.
Or appeal to common decency: “Hey a doctor up here is worried about his patients tomorrow – is there anyone here who will give up his seat for the doctor? We can’t leave until someone is able to do that for us and him.”
The CEO should be demoted for lack of leadership.
It used to be that Veterans Day was a holiday for everyone. It was supposed to honor the veterans, but regardless it was a day off for most non-service employees. Now most companies are open, which means a third of the employees skip the day to care for their kids (who are off), a third make it an easy work day, and a third put in a normal day. Which all results in essentially an unproductive day where no one is rested. Americans (Corporate America) have forgotten the value in rest days, in the meaning work hard and play hard. It is another way that modern day Corporate America — for all its talk on efficiency — is not efficient at all. Wouldn’t it be better to tell everyone to take the day off, rest or honor the veterans, and come back feeling fresh the day after?
Our office was open, and I spent much of the day trying unsuccessfully to keep things moving. I got home at 6 PM thinking what a wasted day it had been 🙂
My ballot is here. As I’ve mentioned before, Americans have died for my right to vote however I please – i.e. the price for me to vote was the highest possible. And in my opinion, this presidential election is the worst of my five decades of life and neither candidate is deserving, for different reasons but ultimately both are self-absorbed and corrupt. To vote for Trump is like voting for a lesser Hitler, but Clinton is as corrupt as they come and one thing I know is that the US needs to change and a vote for Clinton will ensure all the existing issues — racism, labor abuses, wage inequality and using our military to impose our Corporate America agendas — will continue. So, with all that in mind, I am voting for Bernie. This way, I am keeping my soul intact; absolutey worse case, Trump will be elected, there will be outrage across our country and the world, and it might be the real first step in our country getting its soul back from the devil (Corporate America and Fortune 500 sociopaths). I’ve never seen a more divisive election, which is saying something, but the beauty of my journal/blog and of America is I can express my opinion and vote how I want, so here goes… 🙂
I used to admire Boeing, but the past few years they’ve come to be just another cog in the Evil Empire that is post-Reagan Corporate America. They force down wages and benefits by having workers in different states compete for jobs, pay their CEOs 10s of millions and not only pay very little taxes they are actually paid by our government in the form of tax credits. So it strikes me as odd that the WTO would claim Airbus gets unfair advantages because of their government subsidies — Boeing gets all kinds of subsidies, just through different terminology. I used to think propaganda didn’t exist in the US – how ignorant I was 🙂
When I was teaching, I revamped the curriculum for several of my classes to great effect (significant increases in enrollment). Then when I went into Corporate America, I couldn’t believe how uncreative and lethargic everyone was. Basically, one company or SVP would roll something out, then everyone would copy that. How boring that was, so I started proposing lots of new ideas. I even went so far to proposing an idea a month to our SVP (of a Fortune 500 company), who called me The Idea Guy during a speech in front of 500+ people, basically encouraging others to do the same. Sometimes my ideas were marketing ideas, and sometimes they were product ideas (my favorite was the watch that would detect a heart attack and the bra that would detect rape, both of which were sent to me years later by peers after other startups got funding for similar ideas).
Sometimes this got me into trouble, and sometimes it had great effect (I made good extra money working on marketing on the side and a few of my ideas got me a few extra contracts). But the past few years, with my illness combined with working for two awful companies in a row, I am afraid. I am afraid to propose something silly then have it cost me my job. In short, my confidence is tattered. I’ve got to get it back. One of the things that made me effective was no fear – if a wild idea got me in hot water, no big deal, off to the next one. It hurt me a few times, but more often than not it gave me an edge.
In his book Travels, Michael Crichton mentions that an Exec might not want to spend too much time in the hospital partially because they want to protect their rank at their firm. That was an astute observation, because to someone who values promotions and climbing up the Corporate Ladder protecting rank is very important. It is The Call of the Wild out there in Fortune 500 Corporate America, and if a fellow Exec smells blood it can be trouble… Which means that although I’ve always been a top sales person on my teams, and I’ve always had a pretty good instinct for strategy and have been successful at leading teams, I will likely never be a tenured Sales VP at a big firm. Why?
I’ve never cared about title or rank. When I was a VP, I never mentioned my title. WHen I was Managing DIrector, I privately winced when my team introduced me as “my managing director.” Why? It is hard to take myself or life that seriously, and I actually don’t respect people who do. But the thing about Corporate America is, most Execs *do* care about title. Jack Welch didn’t want to be *Vice* Chair — he wanted to be Chair. He obsessed about it to the point I get the impression from his book that it engulfed most of his time and energy. So then once he got it, he was obsessed about keeping it.
So although I myself don’t take things seriously like that, the people making the decisions do, often to the point it is more important than the actual work. I was honestly raised to believe that if you work hard, and you do what your boss tells you to do, and you always try to do the right things, that people will notice and you will get promoted. That is total bullshit. It happens some times, but it is the exception and not the rule. Getting promoted means playing the politics, which in high school is equivalent to being elected Homecoming King/Queen – sometimes it is the best student or the best person, but often it is not — but then keeping that homecoming title every year and fending off other people who want it. I had zero interest in any of that stuff growing up, and I don’t now. Life is too short, and none of this will matter in 100 years.