It seemed like a great idea at the time…

It seemed like a great idea at the time…

It won’t be long now. Every day brings another opportunity for some [presumably] well-intentioned yutz to step in the muck of his/her myopia and watch their career blow up in their face. A few weeks ago, someone at Lexus thought it would be a great idea to cut a deal with the Calgary Airport Authority to brand a few reserved parking spaces for the exclusive use of their already bloated buyers. The airport thought this was a great way to make some extra coin.

Win-win right? Well, yeah, until some genius decided to use a few spaces reserved for disabled folks for that purpose. Kaboom…Lexus had to organize a hasty retreat to try and salvage its brand.

Then again, there are the inevitable daily opportunities available to retailers to damage their businesses by asking breastfeeding moms to leave their store or use the washroom for that “offensive” endeavour. Who can forget the doctor getting dragged off the United Airlines flight for refusing to be bumped? And let’s not forget that Remembrance Day is almost around the corner…sure, kick out the old geezers who stormed the beaches of Normandy so you could live free…after all, selling poppies is a violation of store policy against solicitation.

Engaging Culture

Let’s get one thing clear…these aren’t corporate decisions…they are, in fact, the decisions of individuals who are either poorly trained or incapable of getting past their own egos and -isms (-ism occurs when you see irrelevant differences between people…and they matter to you!). There is no corporation other than on paper in some lawyer’s office.

“All businesses are nothing more than a collection of individuals. Great companies harness the talents and motivations of their people through a meaningful and engaging culture that directs them to a common purpose (Mission).”

While the failures outlined above are failures of individuals, they also highlight the need for relentless training in ethics, social responsibility, compassion, and for the love of Mike, perspective!

Everything is driven by culture.

5 tips if you have a great idea

Sit down till it either passes, or you’ve had a chance to think about it! Whenever you’re interacting with other people ask yourself these questions:

  1. How will this action look to anyone from the outside?
  2. Is this getting out of hand?
  3. Do I want to find myself on the 6 O’clock news?
  4. Do I really want to get fired today, or irreparably damage my career?
  5. Is winning this battle worth it?


Dr. Courmanopoulos is the Senior Partner and CEO of  Medius International Inc…Intelligence, Strategy, and Organizational Development. 

Photo courtesy of Tom Pumford.

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