Uber just ensured that their toxic culture will persist

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Uber’s culture is aggressive with questionable ethics. Yesterday they announced the reforms they will make, and also said CEO Travis Kalanick would take a leave. Kalanick’s leave will ensure that none of the proposed cultural changes will happen. Everything Uber did wrong OK, that heading is inaccurate. I haven’t got space to list everything Uber did wrong in … Continued

The reviewers’ memo that will save your sanity

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Managing reviews of your drafts is a pervasive problem. At my talk to PR professionals this weekend, only one person out of an audience of 150 said her review process worked well. Today, I’ll describe a key element of a disciplined process for soliciting, collecting, and combining reviews: the memo you send to reviewers asking for feedback. The reviewers’ memo: an … Continued

Lessons from the Dan Lyons HubSpot fable “Disrupted”

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You should read Disrupted, by Dan Lyons. And you should take notes, because this is not just a story about startups, culture clash, and the technology industry. It’s full of lessons for every worker and every business. My post is biased, because I know nearly everybody involved here (for full disclosure*, see the end of the post). At first … Continued

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is direct, except when it comes to culture

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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos just released a very clear shareholder letter. He’s very clear and direct about Amazon’s successful products. But when it comes to culture, he’s opaque and oblique. That speaks volumes. I’m a fan of shareholder letters (like Warren Buffet’s) where the CEO lays out what happening in clear simple language. Bezos’ 9-page letter lives … Continued

How to change a bullshit culture without losing your job

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It’s just no fun if you’re the only one in your organization dedicated to clear, bold communication. Don’t stop there, spread the word. Here’s how to do it effectively. If your company, department, or workgroup doesn’t put a premium on clarity, it’s your job to change it. Remember the Iron Imperative: The Iron Imperative: You … Continued

Jeff Bezos’ non-denial denial of the New York Times Amazon takedown

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The New York Times published a brutal takedown of Amazon culture this past weekend. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos sent around an internal email to deny the charges. But Bezos’ reply is so weak, it makes you wonder if his heart it is in it. The Amazon story, “Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace,” … Continued

Comcast customer service transformation, in Philadelphia Magazine

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When you read about corporate transformations, be wary. Reporters love to tell these stories, because they humanize companies. We love to read them. But they’re stories, which is not the same thing as truth. Take this article about about how Comcast is transforming its customer experience, “Comcast Knows How Much You Hate Them,” by Richard Rys, in … Continued