Cooking classes used to “shape” behaviour

Sima (Israel f) is Head of Travel for a global concern. Chosen to lead travel for a US based company because she speak 7 languages fluently, Sima works 20 hours a day, 7 days a week and  uses 3 mobile phones-sometimes simultaneously. Her customers are thrilled with her yet travel costs are high.

Patty (US) is a senior purchasing executive for the same global company. Patty is a cutting edge professional  who knows when buy quality and when to be “cost effective”. She has cut costs 5% quarterly for the last 4 years.

Sima has just received a call from John (English from HK), the firm’s Chinese-English interpreter who is now in Sydney. A wild cat strike “may” close Australian airspace in 6 hours, and John must be in Manila the next day. John’s present flight is to leave an hour after the strike “may” begin.

Sima has “come up” with a solution. John can fly out in an hour, but only on a first class ticket at a 12000 USD cost.

Corporate policy states that purchasing can sign a purchase order for first class travel  if the CEO signs off. Sadly, the (new) CEO just got on a gruelling 17 hour flight from Singapore to NYC, in her first visit to Asia Pac.

Sima wants to act quickly and get John on his way, taking “full responsibility” and “get the ok ex-post-facto.” Patty wants to go by the rules, and not get on the wrong side of the new very cost conscious CEO. Patty refuses to sign off.

Using a creative manipulation, Sima transfers a budget surplus from a cancelled trip in another division and bypasses Patty. John flies out first class.

The CEO gets off the plane and reads a 34 long email   thread in which Patty and Sima tear one another to shreds.

The CEO takes no sides and texts to both: “I am CEO, not baby sitter: solve this without me”.

They don’t.

EVP HR Gloria Ramsbottom-Lemieux is called in and both are sent to a “cooking workshop” to learn “high-power cooperation”.

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2 thoughts on “Cooking classes used to “shape” behaviour

  1. Pingback: Why some global organizations buy simple and useless productized OD “solutions” for complex problems | Allon Shevat

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