Saturday, June 14, 2008

Rah Rah

Now there is scientific evidence to back what we've known all along - the suits in the big corner offices make some of the most dumb-ass decisions. Then of course to add insult to injury, they take off in their golden parachutes while the rest are just let go with or without a few weeks of severance. Apparently, the big rah-rahs that happen when a project goes to "Mission Accomplished" stage is at the root of all evil.

The esteem-boosting feedback backfired, the research suggests, because it was so closely linked to the particular skills that should have prevented the questionable decision in the first place.

“The more that people’s feelings of self-worth are wrapped up in a poor decision they’ve made, the greater their impulse will be to justify it in some way,” said Daniel C. Molden, assistant professor of psychology at Northwestern and one of the researchers.

We all know from experience that the accomplished mission comes unraveled at alarming pace right after the awards and promotions are given to they key players. While they move on to better things, the hoi-polloi get on with the business of poop cleaning after them and often run out of doggie bags. In scientific terms this is :

In contemporary organizational life, many people feel threatened by their poor decisions and end up escalating their commitment to them, wasting additional time and resources and creating even worse outcomes, the studies suggest. The research provides a framework for how organizations might most effectively bolster their employees’ self-esteem as well as the bottom line

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