SOMEHOW I MANAGE. dot. dot. dot.
Welcome back to the weekly series where i (we) analyze the business situations encountered by possibly one of the greatest bosses ever.
It’s been a while since i posted, so if you’re new, here’s what you missed:
To get back to the series, today we are going to cover a very esoteric aspect of running a company day-to-day and managing personal and business conflicts, issues, pains, dramas and even survival.
Thankfully, the show is being written by professionals and the underline tone of the story is preserved to convey the story of the entire episode. Let’s begin.
Business Ethics (s05e02) — watch here
A lot of people i met in my life determined that business ethics in companies and corporate life, is nothing more than lip-service for ant-petty-theft policy, you know: pencils, A4 papers, milk, toilet papers, and even company time (smoking). Yet, ethics is a real discussion of competing conceptions of the good is still debated today.
so how does Michael interprets ethics? in one word — anonymity. After watching too much Survival reality shows, michael grants immunity to all employees who are willing to share some unethical things thyte’ve done around the office — he does it only to make the meeting a success and not be overtaken by uncomfortable silence.
What happened was that they discovered things they didn't want to, shouldnt, in fact, no one wanted to hear that they discovered.
among the simple things (we all do) were, taking a longer break, watching YouTube for 5 hours, downloading pirated music, etc. but then we get to the Jackpot.
One of the employees is been sleeping with one of their paper supplier for a better rate, which in turn yield higher profit margins. Wow.
It’s a show, which it’s fiction, so i will skip pass the atrocity of actually finding out something like this and move on to the aftermath of the discovery.
Naturally Holy (the HR rep) was shocked to her bones wan wanted to immediately report it to higher ups in corporate, when she did she has learned from the HR VP that he doesn't see it a such a bad thing because, get this — THE COMPANY IS GETTING A GOOD PRICE IN THESE TOUGHT TIMES.
Shocking? yes, could happen? also yes.
Michale wanted to protect Holy and the employee who shared the story under “immunity” and tried to reason the situation.
Companies and manager are dealing with tough scenarios like this, although granted less dirty and illegal — for new companies and small business i guess its a tough call between looking the other way and growing the business.
Customer Survey (s05e06) — watch here
How do you deal with bad customer reviews? and to top that — how to deal when it was being forged??
ok, here Micheal is doing the customer feedback annual review, we all had review processed like this where you now it has to have some bad with the good just to keep you still trying.
when he learns that his top salesmen are getting terrible feedback he wanted to train them to make them better, that’s great i think, being a role model as a boss and a leader is best displayed by example.
So when we are dealing with customer feedback on our employees it’s a delicate situation. Because we are working with them day-to-day and need them to be better at what they do — we cant risk sharing direct customer feedback bu instead have to find ways to compact it in order to build the employee’s spirits and have them focused on whats working and fine-tune what works less.
giving feedback, especially to employees is a very important task, which is why i recommend we all get better at it.
On another note, people in workplace “forge” all sorts of things, whether it’s quarterly results, dates required to finish a project, etc. — deal with it, but we can create a work environment that encourages honesty.
The Surplus (s05e09) — watch here
Yes, we have some money left over from the budget! can you believe it? now, what do we do with it??
thats what the employees of Dunder Mifflin scranton had to deal with, whats interesting is what they debated about — a new copier vs. new chairs. That’s a pretty tough choice when you think about it, but these things have a tendency to group people around a cause, and thats exactly what happened and it provided a unique glimpse to the inter-politics between the staff, something managers so rarely get to see.
I would love to do this exercise with my team, first to get to see how they quickly act when a choice that benefits them needs to made, and also to see how they group other people behind their cause, as it did on the show — when Michael asked them to make up their mind it took them 5 minutes :)
Golden Ticket (s05e17) — watch here
For the record, one of the best episodes of the show. In this one, Michael decides to recreate one of his childhood movies — Charlie’s Chocolate Factory.
So he places golden tickets in a few of the the boxes, yada yada yada, and he ends up giving a 50% discount for a year for the company’s biggest account.
Funny and everything, what i think is worth noting is — credit. I’m referring to taking credit for a great idea. Sometimes when we work in big companies it takes a few people or a few teams to execute a good business strategy, when it comes to credit, how do you split it? is there always one party more involved in the success of an idea?
Yeah it should be a group effort, but in 2018 and with millennials being so competitive in the workplace to rise and shine to the top — credit is always in the eye of the beholder.
Thankfully, the show provided the life lesson in the situation:
Don’t chase credit as it can backfire when you least expect it
Micheal wanted Dwight (ARM) to take the fall, and when he decided to do so, it turned out the golden ticket idea was a brilliant success, exactly when Michael decided to take the credit back. backfired.
There are still way more cases to review, i’ll see you next week :)