My dad is a seasoned business flyer. But even though he's made a science of navigating airports, security lines, and upgrades, he'll still occasionally find himself in a tight spot. Like when he flew back from Japan and, just before leaving the plane, realized his wedding ring was gone. Stewards rapidly disassembled his seat and found the gold band. He's never forgotten their quick, polite service. Or his conviction that no American airline would have behaved the same way.
Well, author and board director Nilofer Merchant has a similar story — involving a British airline. Discovering that she'd left her cherished watch at security, just as the plane was about to take off, she alerted the Virgin crew, who told her to "run." She managed to retrieve the watch, complete the sprint, and get back in her seat with their help. She draws a stark contrast to United, which recently lost a ten-year old child and reacted with complete indifference. (It turns out, there *is* something worse than breaking guitars.)
The lesson? This isn't about "the brand" or even "customer service," argues Merchant. It's about bringing social to work; a kind of social that has less to do with media, and more to do with its original meaning of (oh yeah) being human.
Gernot Wagner, an economist at the Environmental Defense Fund in New York, says it's just a matter of time before stringent new climate regulations become reality; and he sees business pushing for the change. "Anyone who does long-term planning... should be in favor of putting rules in place sooner rather than later." It's just common sense. But what about all the people in the U.S. who don't believe in climate change? "The only doubt that serious people have is the exact extent to which global warming is happening. This is something that businesspeople understand."
Business schools need to learn how to have an opinion, argues London Business School's Freek Vermeulen. Not only are most academics afraid to offer an opinion unless it is firmly backed by a 10-year longitudinal study, most see even wanting an opinion at all as "suspect, illegitimate and un-academic." In today's fast-moving, crisis-driven environment, those who wait for exhaustive evidence to guide them may end up saying nothing at all.
Should There Be a Curfew on Work-Related Emails? (Boston Globe)
Study: The Smartest People Prefer Twitter to LinkedIn and Facebook (AllTwitter)
Six Times It's OK Not to Tell the Truth at Work (Daily Muse)