YOUR STUPID STORY
A Letter from the Author:
We Want Your Stupid Stories :-)
Dear Fellow Human Being,
Like many of you, I have personally seen the good, bad, and ugly of corporations and organizations. Personally, I found myself asking on more than one occasion, “What the heck was I thinking when I made that decision?” Or more often, “what were they thinking when they made that decision?” As a CEO and someone who loves to learn, I began research on how we can unknowingly contribute to faulty business decisions.
After leaving the corporate world, my research continued for several years covering many disciplines. Whenever I mentioned my book was about “corporate stupidity” people eagerly responded, “boy have I got some stories for you!” Some of these stories made me laugh; others were perplexing to say the least.
However, my goal was not to merely write about the anecdotal adversities of corporate life. Instead, I wanted to understand, “why do otherwise bright people unknowingly make bad decisions when they could have been avoided?” So, I continued my journey to find a cure…and this book is my “eureka.”
Like many of those I spoke with in person who delighted in sharing their experiences, I ask if you will share “Your Stupid Story” in the comment form below (or email us if you prefer). Whether funny or appalling, simple or complex, we have found that people love to hear about experiences with Corporate Stupidity – bad business decisions that impacted you AND could have been avoided.
It is hard for me to imagine a brighter future for our planet without better thinking. When we become aware of the reality of our thinking, we begin to make better decisions for ourselves and those around us.
With warmest regards and don’t let the mind-bugs bite!
Larry J. Bloom
Recovering CEO and Author,
The Cure for Corporate Stupidity
This is Adam Bloom, I am Larry’s son and decided to join him full time on this journey some time ago. We’ve “talked biz” regularly since I was probably 12 or 13. In my 15 year career in the software/media/internet arena, I also have experienced Mind-Bugs and Corporate Stupidity. Here is My Stupid Story!!!
When I was in consulting at Siebel Systems (acquired by Oracle), we had a few customers who wasted millions of dollars by making brilliantly bad business decisions. After a failure, they would often blame the software company. What was most profound (to me) was that every customer was basically shipped the same software…one customer could succeed and another fail with the same software! So, what other variable is there? Ummm, for starters, how about the project team? The approach? The inadequate timeline? My colleagues and I would think, “Come on now Mr/Mrs. Customer, aren’t you going to take any responsibility at all or are you going to just blame us?”
When I look back now at the Mind-bugs present at those customers, there was an infestation!!! “Shooting the critics” would be a great example – the tendency to marginalize people who disagree with us. Generalization without Evidence, Outcome Attachment, and Status Quo are definitely other Mind-Bugs I saw quite a bit. Millions of dollars lost…not to mention the impact to jobs and careers…all wasted due to Mind-Bugs!
I was with an organization [name left out to protect the guilty] and over the years bore witness to many mind-bugs that came to infect rational thought, the most egregious of which resulted in a strategic blunder of colossal proportions. Downstream, when the consequences of that decision began to manifest, I would have loved to have sent a note to my boss essentially paraphrasing your dot points with my own added blasphemy: “John, now that we have seen the outcomes that are indelibly attached to your unique thought processes, I would like to have you contemplate the following. With this decision that you made, can you now see that you were just not in command of your thinking? What were your thoughts, feelings and desires at the time? What impact did they have on your decision? How would you decide differently now that you can reflect on the situation? What will you do differently for future decisions? And as you think about your thinking, does it not occur to you that you are so inculcated with mind-bugs that there is a virtual pandemic of end-stage idiocy invading every neuron in your brain?” (Ignore this last one – too angry.)
Decision-making is enhanced by an evidence-based approach to organizing data (first) then information (data + significance). Until we can fully analyze the inarguable, we cannot fully evaluate the options and the arguments pro/con each option. That’s why I commit to the T Chart (Ben Franklin: Pro – Con chart) and organizing all documents and data in a database that ties the evidence to Issues (T Charts) and People/ Organizations (the people who will add significance to the data to create information.
I am an attorney and peace maker committed to helping parties to a dispute resolve the dispute efficiently and cost-effectively. Bad decision-making and mismanaged expectations and communications often lead to disputes.
My mission is to fix our broken healthcare and legal systems by advocating the interests of the patient and client and committing to positive change … one doctor/ lawyer at a time. Funding comes from licensing our IP to new insurance programs that reduce the cost of insurance (esp. health insurance for the patient and medical malpractice insurance for the doctor).
One good decision that we ALL must make: DO SOMETHING to help!
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