Like Noam Chomsky, I’m not a huge fan of NPR, but when I do listen, I’m sure to put on my critical thinking hat in order to evaluate whether it’s leakage from mainstream media or something of actual value. The news that the CEO of Yahoo was going to require all employees to come into work made me think of something odd about the dusty back corners of management in the global aviation industry. It really is stuck in the 1950s. The amazing thing about the lack of evolutionary thinking is a big part of what I’ll term “non-progressive” management. The world is changing but they can’t or won’t adapt. “Adapt or die” is a harsh statement, but it is what made you and me! My past posts on batteries, iPads and glass cockpits give you an idea of how far stuff can go when the computing power of the entire 1950s USA is now in your smart phone. (An exaggeration to make a point.)
So this might necessitate some constant self reflection. As CEO you could ask yourself:
Are my edicts regressive or progressive?
When this piece was written I thought I could unburden a fair amount of my fellow aviators by flooding the internets with the shocking revelation that some of the best employees never go near the office. No need to burn the precious dinosaur juice commuting to the office where you’re less functional, happy and productive.
But then the CEO of Yahoo hit a new low for CEOs globally. Here’s a thought to prevent such poor judgement for the long term health of an enterprise – treat executives like pilots:
Drug Tests: Lots of them. Oh yeah, booze too. No coming to work hungover. Don’t do anything in private we find undesirable but definitely don’t bring any evidence to work that you might be a person at home. Come to think of it, we better also look at all the sites you look at while you are at work, so we’ll need a privacy waiver from you on your browsing history.
Simulator Training: Once every six months you’ll get put into a box, a video game of the company, complete with legal, the CFO and some litigious shareholders. Then there’s a liquidity crisis, a pedophile fellow executive, a product recall and a class action lawsuit. Question: Do you injur anybody and does the enterprise climb out of the dive? No? Ok, you can take a test.
Checkrides: At the end of your sim session, just when you thought you’d had enough of daylight deprivation and abuse, you get to take a test! The test is like the sim all over again, but this time no one talks to you or lets you know if you are failing or passing. Just do things, do them well, and do them within standards. Pass? Ok, time for your medical.
Medicals: Every six months you visit the doctor to confess everything, get your blood pressure evaluated, talk about the salt you should avoid and ofcourse lie about the units of alcohol per day. (Always say “2” … everyday, like clockwork you have “2!”) Pass? Ok, back to work.