Posts Tagged ‘Guan Tianlang’

Culture, Irrationality, Arnie and Guan. Boom.

April 12, 2013
  • Company culture is huge. From my time as a military officer to production manager and consultant, I have always taken a keen interest in the type of culture that exists wherever I go. McKinsey has an excellent take on the ‘givers and takers’ of company culture. A ‘giver’ culture is one where employees freely help each other as opposed to being pitted against one another. In this particular study, this factor was the greatest single predictor of success for various intelligence units. From my own experience and using a bit of logic, I believe that where there is what I call a ‘hero and blame’ culture, it is impossible to have a ‘giver’ culture.
  • In case you don’t go through the trouble of actually reading the article…there is a great story in there about Pixar division heads, Ed and Alvy. To make a long story short, they were asked for a list of employees to lay-off. Their list contained two names; Ed and Alvy. Obviously, establishing a giver culture starts at the top. It involves giving credit where its due – i.e. to everyone involved. I was once in a situation in which one person would routinely say things like ‘I did this great thing’ (One of these stories involved a possible sale to some sort of high government official from Kazakhstan…so there was a bit of delusion artfully stirred into the mix as well) and sometimes ‘I and (person of equal rank/position) are really good at X’. Miraculously, no one else seemed to live up to this lofty standard. Needless to say, the culture could have used a bit of a boost.
  • If you are a fan of Arnold Palmer, and you are a fan of helping children with social, emotional, and behavioral problems, then you have a great opportunity in front of you. Click on Adelphoi USA’s website for an auction that contains cool stuff from Arnie’s personal collection. But only if you promise to come back.
  • Guan Tianlang shoots one over par on the first day of the Masters. Guan’s interview afterward was just as impressive as his round. 14 years old, Chinese, and doing an interview in English on worldwide television. By the end, I wanted to feed him the answers as he became progressively more terrified, but still an amazing performance. I probably care more about Guan making the cut than just about anything else that could happen this weekend.
  • Good negotiation lesson from my own experience that is highlighted by the the North Korea stand-off. When faced with an irrational actor – often caused by anger, ego, etc. – try to stay cool and resist ratcheting up the tension. Stand your ground and work behind the scenes to change the balance of power. Create a situation such that the bully can throw all the tantrums they want, but it won’t make a bit of difference to you.
    Arnold Palmer



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