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IChing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-04-06 11:40 AM
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The Five Most Common Lies in Business
Yes, I know it's a little old but anyway here we go........

August/September 1997 | Page 52 By: Alice Van Housen Illustrations by: Brian Cairns


Paul LaFontaine left Bertelsmann Music Group in March 1997 to advise other businesspeople about radical honesty. He has lots of work to do. "There are as many lies in business as there are people in business," he says. Here are his nominees for the five most common lies:

Lie: "People are our most important asset."

Truth: "People are our most worrisome and unpredictable asset. Our most important assets are really our financial assets."

B.S. Detector: This may be the leading lie of our times. "When management starts talking about how important people are," LaFontaine says, "you can bet there is going to be an unpopular human resources decision coming soon."



Lie: "This was a rational decision."

Truth: "I wanted to do this."

B.S. Detector: People "want what they want just because they want it," says LaFontaine.



Lie: "We judge people by their performance."

Truth:
"I judge your performance based on how much I like you."

B.S. Detector: "Why do most people who keep their jobs keep them?" LaFontaine asks. "Because the people they work for like them. And you get fired when the people you work for don't like you anymore.



Lie: "This is business, it isn't personal."

Truth:
"Everything's personal."

B.S. Detector: "As people, we get mad at each other," says LaFontaine. "Attempts to avoid it are cowardly. So get mad. Then get over it and move on." LaFontaine believes that any disagreement can be handled with an honest conversation.



Lie: "The customer comes first."

Truth:
"I come first."

B.S. Detector: "More often than not, 'the customer' is an abstraction," LaFontaine warns. "People take care of customers when it benefits them and ignore customers when they can get away with it. Nobody says 'I come first,' which is what's usually going on."

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Sequoia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-04-06 11:48 AM
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1. Employees: Never consider your company to be "family"
We were having a meeting with a new manager and everyone at the table was introducing themselves and such and one guy said he felt like the company was family. Red flags popped in my head, and shortly thereafter he was fired. I felt really bad for him because he was a happy jolly sort and now he's in the army.
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SacredCow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-04-06 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. I keep it strictly business...
I'll go out for a couple of drinks with co-workers now and again, but I've always found it best to keep business and pleasure separated.
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Sequoia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-04-06 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #2
11. Right...loose lips sinks your ship
Edited on Thu May-04-06 01:35 PM by Sequoia
Beware of those gossipy types. They will talk.
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PATRICK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-04-06 11:53 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. My favorite
Via an NPR report on crooked businessmen rigging prices(caught, convicted) was their emphatic adage: "The customer is your enemy, your competitor is your friend. Repeat!" For the truth you have to go to certain back rooms or prison yards.
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elehhhhna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-04-06 11:55 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. extended dysfunctional family, maybe...
best group I ever worked with/managed felt that way ususally.
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TlalocW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-04-06 12:18 PM
Response to Reply #1
9. If a company is to be considered a type of family
Then I have issues as my real family would never have subjected me to the stupidity that is the Fish Program.

TlalocW
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KansDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-04-06 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. Oh, Gawwwd, not the "Fish" program!
My place of employment looked into this strategy, even considered asking the Fish philosophers to come to our annual staff day to speak.

I saw the video: Yeah, a lot of fun, until a customer gets hit in the head with a 20-lb piece of tuna. Then we'll see how "hardy-har-har" the lawyers get...
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BlueJazz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-04-06 11:56 AM
Response to Original message
5. When I was the Manager of a large ...ah.."Depot" type Home ..
..building supply place, we were told to "Make the Employee feel like upper Management Cares"

I used to think "Oh Brother...If you really cared, you wouldn't have to "Make" the Employees think you cared"

Typical Corporate Bullshit...
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-04-06 12:07 PM
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6. Addition to the list: "Your call is important to us."
If it's so damned important, why can't I talk to a human being without going through push button hell or, worse yet, being referred to a voice recognition system that doesn't recognize anything I say, and then, once I've mastered that, being kept on hold for 20 minutes?

After translating numerous business documents over the past 13 years, I've come to the conclusion that all business "communication" in whatever language is intended to obscure the real underhanded, nefarious, and unprinicipled goings-on.
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MindPilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-04-06 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Oh yeah, that whole "communication" thing...
What a load of crap, the evaluations, feedback, and of course one of my all-times faves, the "open-door policy".
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IChing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-04-06 12:41 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. I love that lie....20mins? If we are lucky
Sometimes people say things in group think
without thinking about what they are really saying.
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MindPilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-04-06 12:12 PM
Response to Original message
7. Whenever I hear anything with the word "quality" in it, my BS meter pegs
I know it will have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the quality of our products or service.

The other one that makes me shudder is "We are doing (whatever) to remain competitive." No, you are doing whatever to make your bottom line look good; you have no other motivation.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-04-06 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. The other red flag is "flexibility"
Edited on Thu May-04-06 01:55 PM by Lydia Leftcoast
That means "We're going to cut several full-time positions back to part time and give them unpredictable schedules, so that we don't have to pay benefits any longer, and besides, the people who hold those positions will soon get disgusted and quit, so we can hire cheaper replacements with less seniority."

This is a favorite red-flag word of academic administrators. When a full-time professor dies or retires, instead of hiring a full-time replacement, hire three part-timers who get no benefits and are fired after two or three years.

Funny thing--top business executives and high-mucky-muck academic administrators are never subjected to standards of "flexibility."
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