From oct 2010 my educational posts are published only on Pip

5 juni 2011

Bad stories are making you even less successful

Reading Zappo CEO Tony Hsieh’sDelivering Happiness’ most of his philosophy sounds sound and impressive, but there are also some things that fret my mind.
Your culture is your brand

It’s what we often believe and say in this time of transparency, and I guess we who don’t run a huge organization also embrace it while those who do run an organization often seem scared and unprepared. It’s what would give power to the people. The idea is that any employee or customer can spread a negative experience to thousands of others and the effect would be disastrous.

But we are not there. Customers can repeatedly report a bad experience of a service and yet, if the pressure from friends, media or oneself is big enough, they keep coming. For how long I don’t know, but the companies who don’t put the user experience before the money are many – and they stay alive. In my mind they would probably have been far more successful if they set the values the other way around, but yet, they can be mighty as it is.

Even more evident is that it is still very hard for employees and ex employees to spread the word of a negative company culture. It just doesn’t look good to slander your employer. As an employee you look disloyal, disturbing and obstinate. As an ex employee you appear phased out, bitter and gossiping. In both situations you are probably looking for a new position and would much rather be associated with adjectives such as change forward, courageous and innovative – so you better just say something like I cannot fulfill my personal goals within this organization.

It still feels as people just don’t like to think of big successful companies as bad organizers – how could they be successful if they are not doing it right all the way? Nobody want to hear of the bad stories.

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