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Posts tagged “culture”

Boardroom culture crisis

A friend who serves on the boards of a few large public companies recently told me about a frustrating boardroom debate in which one of his colleagues said “if we approve this, it may be good for the company but you can bet ISS will tell our shareholders to withhold votes.”

Shortly after this conversation I read an article describing “Six Ways to Tell if You Have a Bad Board.” According to Roger Martin, dean of the University of Toronto’s B-school, here are the tell-tale signs:

  • They complain about how hard Sarbanes-Oxley has made it to be a director. (Hasn’t it gotten harder for auditors, regulators, analysts and investors?)
  • They complain about how the fees for being a director aren’t high enough to compensate for the onerous work involved.
  • They’re…
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Boiling culture down to its DNA with little stories

I love the opening line of Darryl Scott’s song My Father’s House: “I was born and raised in my father’s house, can catching rain in the kitchen.”  One line – about two-thirds of a Tweet in length – suggests a large, textured story of a mother-less home that’s not just broken, but permanently unfixed. 

I love it because it’s a great example of two things.  First, the most powerful way of understanding is to let our minds do what they most want to do with information – assemble it into stories.  You can’t hear Scott’s line without building a story around it.  And second, a short, simple story can contain a lot of information. 

Researchers say the power of story comes from four factors: they mirror the way we think (which is in narrative…

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