Saturday, October 10, 2009

"Forgotten Beliefs"

A few years before I retired I was in a management program taught by outside-XYZ teachers. In the first class, the highly Type-A instructor asked us what were XYZ's current Basic Beliefs. At first no one could really list them off, because our original ones were recently cancelled and replaced by eight, or fifteen, general "core values". Then she asked us what the original XYZ Basic Beliefs were and we all said "Respect for the individual!" Before we could rattle off the final two on the list, she said "Ah-ha! Why is it that you put respect for yourself as the first one, before the other two?!" We informed her that it was because that is the rule that our Founder made the number one first priority belief, ergo, being that it was first on the list, it was the first one that we said. And that rule being first, set the tone for the final two, meaning that when you have respect for people, everything else (like honesty, loyalty, and good work) comes naturally. Obviously she was trying to trick us into thinking that we were merely self-centered XYZ-ers, and she missed the point entirely.

The point is not missed on all current and former XYZ employees though. That is to say, that the original XYZ Basic Beliefs -- that were formerly posted proudly everywhere at every company plant and building -- are no longer valid for some reason. Like I mentioned, they were replaced by a long list of "values" that the company supposedly follows now, with respect for the individual somewhere down the list in the middle. I guess that when you can't honestly follow three straight-forward golden-rule type values, you have to make up a whole slew of beliefs to run fancy circles of intent around the ones that you are incapable of following. Right Mr.Cookie-Monster?