It’s Just Like Elementary School

Remember the days when you were in school, and some kid in your class would do something while the teacher wasn’t looking? Then, the teacher would demand that the person come forward or the whole class would be punished?

Ok, maybe that still occasionally happened in high school, or in training for a military service branch. You’re using peer pressure to the enforce the rules. In the high school case, it’s because the mutual pressure of a student’s peers is stronger than any reasonably proportional punishment you can deal out, especially if you have no clue who did it. In the military case, it’s to drive home the concept that every little thing you do impacts the entire team.

Of course, at work, everything you do has the potential to impact your team. However, I doubt that one team member’s choice to wear jeans with partially exposed backsides should be met with taking away the privilege of wearing jeans for the entire office. It should be met with some sort of HR or law enforcement action, depending on how bad the offense really is.

But suppose some people are just pushing the rules too far: If people are wearing pajamas to work, then those people should be told by their managers to stop. If entire teams are doing it, obviously the managers are not getting the message through. Even if there is a failure on enforcing some policy on the part of one manager, there shouldn’t be a company-wide change in response. The solution still lies with one person.

…or you could just treat us all like we’re back in elementary school. Class, we’re all going to have to stay after school because Johnny didn’t get his work done.  Oh, wait. That still happens.

Never mind, forget this whole post.

What’s in a Name/Logo?

Once, maybe twice, in a business’ life, things change to warrant a name change.  “Bob Jones Consulting” may not be an appropriate name for a company that “Bob Jones” has severed ties with.  “Turducken Shack” might be inappropriate for a restaurant chain who magically found a sleeper hit in its vegetarian fare.

Understandably, if you’re dealing with customers in person, who you are representing can be as important as how you represent the company.  That’s fine.

Once you get below a certain level of granularity, however, does the customer really care what organization within the company you represent?  If a customer had a positive interaction with the sales department, but had a horrible interaction when getting technical support for a problem placing the order on the website, do the department labels really matter?

Does the reporting structure matter? Is your new marketing slogan, “Reorganized to Serve You Better”?

Does the customer care that the marketing department has a new blue logo, while the IT department has a shiny black background logo with monochrome green outlines?  Does the customer care some guy in the marketing department still has his red logo background on his computer’s desktop?

Meanwhile, while we’re all splitting hairs, the customer has hung up after hearing, “Your call is important to us,” for the 20th time–probably because it’s a lie.