Do you embrace values which require you to have skin in the game? Or are they and you all talk?
Big Red Car here using The Boss’s computer while he’s at church. The Boss needs to spend more time at church. Needs a good sermon.
So, I get on the issue of values with that cute Mercedes convertible who lives over on Gaston Avenue. We’ll talk sometimes and sip some 10W40.
She’s hot on the subject of values and I ask her, “What about values?”
“Don’t get me started,” she says and burps. The 10W40 is good, but she has a little indigestion. She’s still cute.
“Big Red Car, everybody has values until they see the price tag,” says the hot Mercedes. “Then, they price the cost of their mythical values and say, ‘Whoa, Nellie.'”
“You think so, Sweetie? Can you give me an example?”
“Sure, Big Red, listen to all these freakin’ venture capitalists who are so big on the value of diversity and women in the workplace.”
“Look at a picture of their companies. See any women? See any black faces? But, they spend all their time lecturing the world about the value of something they don’t practice.”
“Good point, Sweetie, but maybe they’re running a profitable business and don’t want to risk something that’s working. Guy has to make a buck, right?”
“Then, Big Red, maybe they should shut the fuck up and stop lecturing everybody while not walking the talk? Maybe they should act on their values. Or are they all talk?”
I laugh because all of us are good talkers, but few of us are doers. The current ratio of bullshitters to doers in the continental US is 1000:1.
A CEO as part of the Vision, Mission, Strategy, Tactics, Objectives, Values, Culture exercise will find the urge to commit values to paper. Not from day one, but soon.
They will engage in some “holier-than-thou” literature and end up with something that looks and reads good. Bravo, that is what they are supposed to do.
Then, something happens.
Some new hire turns out a cropper. The new hire runs smack into the values and the CEO has to act.
The CEO prices the cost of action and says, “Whoa, Nellie.”
Then the CEO has the crucible moment — is he going to pay the price to LIVE those values? Or are his values and the company culture a head fake? Fair weather values?
Is the CEO true to the the culture which is based on the values HE promogulated?
Yeah, moment-of-truth time. This is what they call in the trade a “defining moment.” It is when you choose teams between the bullshitters and the doers.
Fox News Values
Similar scenario as above, different circumstances.
Some long time employees morphs into a creep.
Take a look at Fox News. These clowns from Fox News sent a signal to the world — look at us and our blonde anchorettes and our macho men. All-American are we!
Then the Fox boys (calling them the Foxes) run into the fulfillment of their own legacy. They ran a frat party network with lots of lovely furniture, their macho boys sat where they pleased and did what they pleased. Everybody laughed it off.
The network paid out a lot of dough when some of the furniture complained. Suddenly, the Foxes decide they’ve had enough. They’ve had enough of themselves. [To be accurate, it’s the next generation who doesn’t like catching flak at Manhattan cocktail parties.]
They set the tone and they allowed it to continue for decades. Now, they have regrown their virginity and want to dismantle the fraternity.
Good luck with that.
The Cost When It Goes Wrong
The Foxes waited too long to take action. To be fair, they were happy with the results and what’s a few million a year in payouts when you’re crushing it?
The problem is now they’ve bet the entire network on their failure to act in real time.
Let’s read the headstones in the cemetery: Ailes, Greta, Megyn, O’Reilly — who else? Hannity is next?
Bottom Line It, Big Red Car
Act quick when values are at stake. Know the price tag, but act quickly.
You dawdle, the price tag keeps growing until you’ve bet the entire enterprise on the action.
Fox News Network will cease to be of any consequence in the news business within six months. The loss of O’Reilly will kill them. One won’t need to consider their “culture” because they will no longer exist.
[The Foxes should have done something about this fifteen years ago. By not doing so, they bet the entire network on it and they will lose their butts.]
Fox News will spawn a competitor in the same six months.
ACT ON YOUR VALUES AT THE FIRST INSTANT YOU CAN. There is a price to act upon your values. There is a price to have no values. There is a price to delay acting on your values.
The price keeps increasing. Quick, decisive action is the low cost solution.