Even It Up!

Shifting the balance for jobseekers

No to Yes Men!

with 3 comments

Bernard Salt made an interesting comment in today’s Sunday Mail which we hope does not come to fruition: that the perceived tightening of the labour market, and concern about job security will force people to become “yes men”.  He said if that happens, innovation and creativity will fly out the organisational window.

At Even It Up! we believe “yes men” – and more specifically, the culture that breeds them – are responsible for most of the world’s woes.  We’ve oversimplified here, but why did someone not speak up about the subprime mortgage fiasco?  Why did the Enron get into the state it did before the proverbial hit the fan?  Why did someone not tell Bush that bombing the crap out of Iraq was not going to solve the problem?  You get the picture…  when the actions of leaders go unquestioned and unchallenged decisions are made that are more about ego than altruism. Ultimately, it’s about power.  Those who don’t have it acquiesce to those who do.   If you are interested in learning more about power and power imbalances, we found an interesting paper on the subject on Jeff Vail’s website

Long live the pot stirrers, we say.  They are actually better for business.

Written by evenitup

January 4, 2009 at 2:22 pm

3 Responses

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  1. Pity my last boss doesn’t want pot stirrers around! He was a big fan of the “yes men.”


    January 5, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    • Even It Up! has been there too! It seems that (generally speaking) the ones who get on in organisations are the ones who “don’t rock the boat” and don’t challenge dominant thinking. Given the power plays that go on in organisations (i.e. if you don’t tow the company line, we will make life difficult for you, and you may even lose your job), this is a sad but unsurprising state of affairs.


      January 5, 2009 at 1:53 pm

  2. I totally agreed about the “yes” men, and I’m all for the pot stirrers.


    January 5, 2009 at 8:01 am

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