Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 9/28/15

The media are reporting that “Volkswagen installed software on 11 million of its diesels to cheat on emissions testing.” That is called a “metonymy,” because Volkswagen is a non-animate entity which can’t do a thing. What is really meant is that specific people in the company—and who knows how many at this point—deliberately broke the law to enhance sales. The CEO has resigned, but that doesn’t seem quite enough to me. We should be seeing criminal trials involving hundreds who willingly aided and abetted this huge fraud. Evil is never done so well or so thoroughly as when done with a good conscience: We hare helping our company to be the best. However, one’s company only does well when it is doing its best to help customers. The only thing worse than not gaining credibiity is having had credibility and jettisoning it. And that’s what these people have done with customers and investors.

Most organizations would rather risk obsolescence than make room for the non-conformist in their midst.
— Warren Bennis in The Unconscious Conspiracy

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