Corporate Culture: Truth vs. B.S.

FacebookLinkedInTwitter

beyond-bullshitI just read an interview with Samuel Culbert—a professor at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management and the author of Beyond Bullsh*t—arguing that how people talk to each other at work affects the success of their businesses.

Culbert asserts that “bulls—t has become the etiquette of choice in office life,” and that it can undermine a workplace because “it makes people feel beaten up, deceived—even dirty.”

He defines “bulls—t” as “telling people you what you think they need to hear.” He maintains that—even though bullsh–tting sometimes keeps “the corporate peace”—it is “always self-serving” since it “may involve finessing the truth or outright lying.” This in turn suppresses the real, or best, ideas and so the company suffers in the long run. Straight talk at work, then, signals a more robust work environment and healthier company because it indicates a workplace that has a culture built on trust and good ideas.

So—any thoughts on the tradeoff between truth and hurt feelings? Have you come across any workplace tips for encouraging truth (and don’t say staff meetings or cc’s on emails!) On the other hand, do you have any examples of yes-men or –women bringing a company down?

Brand Strategy, Corporate Culture, Digital Media
Black Friday = Good Marketing for REI

The major outdoor sporting goods brand REI made a somewhat strange announcement this week: they will be closed for the unofficial annual American celebration of consumerism on Black Friday.

Learn More
Brand Strategy
Kiwis, Sheep and Ferns: A Pastiche of National Clichés Battle to Become New Zealand’s Flag 2.0

There’s an emerging trend to replace Procrustean national symbols with more sparkly versions of the same by means of a popular vote.

Learn More
Brand Strategy
Please Don’t Make Me Talk to People: What is Fueling the Services to Get Us to Talk to Each Other Less?

Everywhere you look, there seems to be a new product or service designed to get people to talk to each other less.

Learn More
Brand Strategy, Digital Media
How Are We Supposed to Make Money on the Internet Now?

For most, the release of Apple’s iOS9 was a welcome development.

Learn More

Ready to talk about how your brand and culture can do more for your business?

Let's talk