Innovation America Innovation America Accelerating the growth of the GLOBAL entrepreneurial innovation economy
Founded by Rich Bendis

Innovation America Exclusive

by Dr. Janice Presser, CEO, The Gabriel Institute, architect of technology that measures Teamability® 

Dorothy, we’re not in Kansas anymore. The moral compass that Auntie Em and Uncle Henry provided has been spun through the eye of the tornado and it has lost its direction.

I just read that McKinsey, one of the most prestigious consulting companies in the world, has instituted a new set of rules to prevent another ‘incident.’ That’s my mild-mannered way of saying that two senior leaders in the firm had been caught in a high-stakes game of insider trading. As a result, the new Global Managing Director has decided that McKinsey’s 87-year tradition of individual and corporate integrity wasn’t working anymore, and needed shoring-up by stringent directives and compliance testing.

Apparently rebellion is afoot at McKinsey. Against what rules, I don’t know. After all, I’m not an insider. But as a mom as well as a CEO, I have some advice to offer to the rule-makers.

What you’re doing is obviously needed, but it seems that some of your insiders have said the changes create a ‘nanny-state.’ They seem to feel that they have been thrust back into kindergarten.

Maybe they should be. It’s the place where, if mom and dad haven’t drilled it into you yet, you learn the basics of ‘working and playing well with others’ (as it was described on mid-20th century report cards.)

Perhaps I can offer a way to underscore that lengthy, detailed document that everyone is now required to sign. Here’s what I’d do. I’d keep it simple, and deliver it with my best attempt to mimic a 1940’s military drill sergeant. Here’s my rap:

Listen up! This is the stuff that you should have learned a long time ago.

1. Don’t take other kid’s toys without asking. (The corporate behavior code probably refers to this in a few places. Padding your expense account may not seem like outright theft but it is.)

2. Don’t sneak a peek at other kids’ cards. Really? Even if they aren’t too careful about protecting them? Damn right! (Consider swapping ‘Inside info’ for a more accurate phrase: Trusted confidential material. If you have access to sensitive matters and can’t keep a secret, you belong on the outside, looking for a new job.)

3. Don’t be a bully. And don’t make excuses for bully behavior. (You know what I mean. The greater your position of power, the greater your responsibility to ensure that the rules are fair and the playground is level.)

Violate any of these and you are at best a creep, and at worst a cheat or a crook; or maybe even all three.