Making it easier to do great work. Hacking all things stupid.

Hacking Corporate Stupidity

What I’m Learning from the Lunacy

As you may know, we’ve been running our HCL Project, Hack Corporate
for several weeks, in which people submit actual quotes by
actual leaders that fall under the banner of “You can’t make this s**t up!”

Awesomely Stupid Quotes 1-5
Awesomely Stupid Quotes 6-10
Awesomely Stupid Quotes 11-15
Awesomely Stupid Quotes 16-20
Awesomely Stupid Quotes 21-25
(Prizes awarded for the best/worst quote! Submit here.)

Here’s what I’ve learned so far…

• There is no shortage of people saying awesomely stupid stuff!
If we chose to, we could run this project forever.

• Sometimes we can be horrific in how we treat our fellow humans. e.g.,
“What difference will that make? Where’s the report you owe me?”—
manager to an employee, after the employee asked to leave early to be
with his terminally-ill father, who was likely to pass away in the
next day or so.

• I’m saddened by how far we still need to go on many crucial topics, like
diversity and gender-equality: “Is she a leader or a mom?” That, from a
corporate HR recruiter(!) speaking to a line manager.

• I’m amazed at how smart and good people suddenly get stupid and
start behaving badly within corporate bureaucracies.

However, there is a way out of this stupidity.

I’m reminded how perfectly Robert Fulgrum nailed it in his 1989 book,
All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. Moms and
kindergarten teachers (my mom was both) taught us so many things that
we STILL need to recall and practice.

As Fulghum reminded us, we already learned everything we need to know
to prevent this kind of stupidity:
• Share everything
• Play fair
• Don’t hit people
• Put things back where you found them
• Clean up your own mess
• Don’t take things that aren’t yours
• Say you’re sorry when you hurt someone

My mom taught me all that, and more. I’m sure yours did too.

Since many of us just celebrated Mother’s Day, maybe we should all do a
little thinking about what Mom taught us before our next team meeting?

That sure would take the corporate stupidity down a notch or two.

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