Part 2, Anatomy of an Asshole
In Part 1, The Performance-Values Matrix, I argued that the biggest reason company cultures degrade is they hire, retain, and promote “assholes” (mercenary employees whose lack of empathy causes interpersonal issues). I also introduced the Performance-Values Matrix as a reinforcement system address this problem. Let’s now dive deeper into clinical understanding of this behavior and how it can be carefully managed in a corporation. Continue reading
“The actual company values, as opposed to the nice-sounding values, are shown by who gets rewarded, promoted, or let go.”
– Netflix Culture: Freedom & Responsibility
Every time I walk into a new company I am advising, I invariably encounter a set of noble values that are prominently displayed on the walls. So the first thing I do is look past them by carefully observing how people really behave, which tells me what I actually need to know.
It’s not that most companies are disingenuous about the values they espouse. One of Enron’s “aspirational values” was integrity, which may have genuinely expressed who they wanted to be at the beginning. But over time, this did not reflect their “practiced values” of who they actually became when they committed fraud.