October 31, 2015

So, what you’re saying, then, Anthony Bourdain, is that no matter which restaurant we choose, whenever we go out to eat in a restaurant, we are feeding off of the desperation of undocumented immigrants, who are forced by their situation into jobs no one else will take? Read more

October 25, 2015

I’m all for a little frank self-interest driving owners and managers to do what also happens to be in the interests of justice. The more employers cotton on to the fact that generosity works, the better off we’ll all be. Read more

September 9, 2015

It is unreasonable to expect to work with near-constant affirmation from superiors, near-constant agreement from colleagues, and near-constant acquiescence from underlings. Read more

September 7, 2015

If this is heavenly–first, to know that every child born is one that will live a long life, second, to know that you yourself will live a long life, and third, to know that you may work to make the years full as well as long–then the opposite is hellish. Read more

August 23, 2015

The stories were told by people who were, during the incidents themselves, medical students. Though not as vulnerable as the patients whose abuse they witnessed, they were themselves vulnerable to abuses of power by the doctors they might have considered reporting, and they would certainly have been socialized against objecting openly to their superiors’ behavior. Read more

August 17, 2015

If success is necessarily hierarchical and competitive (as even the word “excellence,” which I use frequently in the context of intentionally non-competitive virtues, suggests), then a certain callousness is inevitable. It doesn’t matter that the second person to invent a thing and patent it is a better person than the first; it’s the first that’s awarded the patent. “First come, first served” is an attempt to be fair, not to be cruel, right? Read more

August 12, 2015

The featured chef reported the most important thing he learned from one of his fellow restauranteurs. He said that she told him that the most important thing was for the whole staff to sit down, half an hour before service started, and have a family-style meal together. The documentary didn’t show one of these work-family meals, but it seemed to indicate that the chef-owner took the suggestion seriously, and that it spilled over into how he saw and spoke of his staff. Read more

July 2, 2015

It was an aside, but I mentioned in my last post the importance of using direct language about corporate mistakes.  (“We screwed up” instead of “Mistakes were made at some levels.”) Here is a recent and germane example: The article in which I initially discovered this video correctly blurbed the most important line of this video: “Straight up, we made some mistakes.” The rest of the video defaults to the “mistakes were made, sort of more or less by people… Read more

June 28, 2015

If you are in a position of leadership in your organization, please consider privileging “what is good” and “what is true” and “how things ought to be” over “how it will look.” Read more

June 23, 2015

After my last post, it seemed worth offering some strategies of resistance that don’t rely on outright fraud, theft, or dishonesty. These strategies are, I hope, sensible at the personal level and might, if widely enough followed, tame some of the insanity of the current system. They are less dramatic than the plan-to-default-and-screw-the-results model, but they are more radical than Siegel’s supposed slacktivism. Read more

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