Burning Man

(с) Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely

Burning Man is an annual weeklong
event of self-expression and self-reliance held in Black
Rock Desert, Nevada, regularly attended by more than
40,000 people. Burning Man started in 1986 on Baker Beach
in San Francisco, when a small crowd designed, built, and
eventually set fire to an eight-foot wooden statue of a man
and a smaller wooden dog. Since then the size of the man being
burned and the number of people who attend the festivities
has grown considerably, and the event is now one of the
largest art festivals, and an ongoing experiment in temporary
Burning Man has many extraordinary aspects, but for me
one of the most remarkable is its rejection of market norms.
Money is not accepted at Burning Man. Rather, the whole
place works as a gift exchange economy—you give things to
other people, with the understanding that they will give
something back to you (or to someone else) at some point in
the future. Thus, people who can cook might fix a meal. Psychologists
offer free counseling sessions. Masseuses massage
those lying on tables before them. Those who have water offer
showers. People give away drinks, homemade jewelry,
and hugs. (I made some puzzles at the hobby shop at MIT,
and gave them to people. Mostly, people enjoyed trying to
solve them.)


The Big Idea: 21st-Century Talent Spotting

Why did the CEO of the electronics business, who seemed so right for the position, fail so miserably? And why did Algorta, so clearly unqualified, succeed so spectacularly? The answer ispotential: the ability to adapt to and grow into increasingly complex roles and environments. Algorta had it; the first CEO did not

read here:




Change, Change Management

Interesting article on Change Management by 

“Change, Change Management”

(c) https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140508205044-21398219-change-change-management?goback=%2Elit_*1_*1&trk=vsrp_influencer_content_res_name&trkInfo=VSRPsearchId%3A86211991400479657216%2CVSRPtargetId%3A5870268644398759936%2CVSRPcmpt%3Aprimary

There is an old adage: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” I’m confident most companies experiencing organizational change strategized a grand plan of growth and success. They took the time to gather the big brains to discuss profit/loss, opportunity, and how to move the company forward. So why do so many companies still experience headaches over change management? Why isn’t everyone in the company jumping for joy and thankful for all the hard work and sleepless nights by the executive team?

It’s not due to lack of planning. It’s possible the planning team left out one essential big brain — communications. When employees can’t see the “planning,” they aren’t able to acclimate and as a result, they tend to feel helpless. Think about it. When you feel helpless, your instinct is to be cautious, protect yourself, and in some cases remove yourself from the situation.

Work with your communications’ team to focus efforts on your internal communications before, during and after organizational change. Employees need to understand “why” change is occurring and “what” is expected of them after the change.

A study(1) of over 1500 public and privately held business who experienced performance transitions, were asked to rate the outcome of the transition on a scale ranging from completely successful to completely unsuccessful. They were also asked to rate the mood in the organization during the change transformation.

The top 4 moods for “Completely Unsuccessful” organizational change were:

  • 51% Anxiety
  • 43% Confusion
  • 44% Frustration
  • 34% Fatigue

The top 4 moods for “Completely Successful” organizational change were:

  • 44% Anxiety
  • 55% Sense of Focus
  • 51% Enthusiasm
  • 47% Feeling of momentum

When Organizational Change Fails
There are two sides to every change and each one needs to be addressed: rational and emotional.

  • Rational is usually visible, it’s what you know and what you do, your knowledge and skills.
  • Emotional is usually invisible or not deliberately conveyed, it’s how you feel, how you are motivated.

Change is personal, even in an organizational context. The emotional components of change must be addressed if you ultimately want to motivate your team. Studies reveal the emotions to drastic change follow a similar cycle as does the emotions to death.(2) When reality sets in, executive teams are often puzzled by the emotional responses to the change and disappointed by the delays in acceptance and drops in performance.




Change, Change Management

When emotional levels are driven into chaos due to change, the worst solution is a complex one. Resist the urge to set up enormous plans and complex methods, keep communications simple and clear. Understand, when people are no longer able to change a situation, they are challenged to change themselves. Most are not ready for that challenge.

Create an internal communications plan that will help your employees adapt and find a way to plant themselves in this new landscape.
A few considerations:

  • Account for the time it takes to adapt to change
  • Be prepared for a drop in performance during the cycle of change
  • Open direct lines of communication to the executive team
  • Reinforce your brand promise, what employees can expect from the company and what the company expects from them
  • Reinforce what is the “same,” help employees appreciate what they have today
  • Don’t be afraid to talk about the changes (good or bad), if you avoid these conversations all you’re doing is promoting toxic water-cooler conversations
  • Clearly state what is different and what the vision for the future holds

For more change management goodness, reach me at susan@rmagency.com. Also, read Greg Norton’s blog series on Marketing as a Culture!


About Susan
Susan Nettles has 20 years in the branding industry, and over a decade focusing on the importance of brand culture. She writes about building strong brands through the topics of employee brand alignment, creating remarkable experiences both internally and externally, and creating referral-worthy companies.

(1) Source: McKinsey&Company, 2006

(2) Source: Reply Management Consulting, 2010

7 Management Traits That Will Make All Your Employees Quit

7 Management Traits That Will Make All Your Employees Quit

(c) https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140428194310-68335342-7-management-traits-that-will-make-all-your-employees-quit?trk=tod-home-art-list-large_0

Have you ever had a REALLY bad boss? Well I have. This individual drove everybody out and the company had to close the regional office, because everyone quit or was fired. I quit after being there for just 6 months; and, only days after being recognized as the region’s top new sales professional. I couldn’t take it any longer! This job was so bad that I don’t even list it on my resume or LinkedIn profile. Nothing was done to fix the situation, even after several people complained to HR, and one individual recorded a meeting in which he was verbally assaulted and threatened. Here are some traits that my former manager exemplified that led to the shutdown of the office and the mass exodus of employees.

Micro Management

Nobody likes to be micro managed. Be a leader not a micro manager. Be someone that your employees admire and want to work hard for. Do this by leading by example with your work ethic, integrity, and by treating people with respect. Do not constantly threaten people with their job. If this is your idea of coaching your team, then you should not be in management. As the boss you should be the teacher and find ways to help people improve. Managing by fear will make your employees resent you and the company. The first chance they get they will jump ship. My old boss locked the back door, so we had to pass by his office every time we left the office so he could keep tabs on us.

Do Not Create Office Politics

This manager pitted his people against one another. He told one person one thing that someone said and then told the other person the same thing. Office politics kill morale and as the manager you should be doing things to prevent it not perpetuate it. Don’t be vindictive. Create a positive environment where people want to come to everyday.

Do Not Lie and Be Mean to Customers

I caught this individual lying to customers on more than one occasion. Additionally, in a meeting with a CFO of a local company, he was so mean and rude that she actually threw the quote across the table at him. Then she kicked us out of her office, said she would NEVER do business with us, and told us to not come back. Yes, this was the low point of my career. It was truly an out of body experience.

Keep Your Dirty Laundry at Home

My former manager was always telling us about the drama that was happening at his house between him and his wife. Imagine that, his wife didn’t like him either. It made everyone uncomfortable and resent him even more.

Don’t Gripe About Your Employees Working Hard if You Are Not Yourself

We caught him watching YouTube videos all the time in his office. Then he would take every chance he could get to tell us all how worthless we all were and that we weren’t working hard enough.

Abrasive Communication

He used to curse during meetings at employees and use public humiliation to put people down. Again, do this and your employees will quit.


Nobody likes someone that is a know it all and can do no wrong. Don’t take all the credit when things go right and then be the first to pass blame when things go wrong.

Have you ever had that pit in your stomach develop on Sunday just from the thought that Monday is only a day away; and, you know you have to go back to work? Well, I am glad I don’t have it anymore! That place is my rear view mirror. If your manager exemplifies some of these traits, maybe just anonymously drop a copy of this article on his or her desk.

Five Famous Fears

Five Famous Fears:

  1. Humiliation – which is the fear of what other people think, the irony is that people are too busy thinking about themselves to worry about thinking about you.
  2. Separation – Being different, separated from those that are important to us, being disconnected.
  3. Poverty – The ‘I haven’t got enough’ concept… yet money does not bring security
  4. Unknown – The fear of new things – or lacking of faith, hope and trust
  5. Missing out – The fear of keeping up with the ‘Joneses’ – continually making comparisons (if you win the rat race you are still a rat)

Read more here