I had a sense of déjà vu when I heard that the “protester” was Time magazine’s Person of the Year. I remembered images of the Chicago protesters who arguably denied us the experience of President Hubert Humphrey and my personal memory of the huge protest of the arrest of Black Panthers in New Haven. My role was to pick up Abbie Hoffman in New York and drive him up there for the rally. We had a wonderful talk about the role of symbolic actions and their impact on society (he was a Brandeis University social...
A couple of months ago, I came across an article in my local paper entitled, American “Allergy” to Global Warming, Why?" The article asked why so many Americans remain in denial about climate change when such a great amount of scientific evidence exists that indicates it is our reality. The article reviews some of the scientific evidence and asks why there continues to be little motivation for changing our consumption and production practices that appear to contribute to global warming. The writer notes how the support for and...
An Oklahoma first grader was suspended recently for making a gun gesture with his hand because the gesture violated the school district's zero-tolerance policy against weapons and violence, according to news reports. That's just one in a handful of stories making headlines today. Stories of kids being expelled for having nail clippers or giving a cough drop to another student are refueling the debate about the wisdom of zero-tolerance policies. In 1999, Time magazine referred to the surge in these dogmatic approaches to discipline in...
Imagine our private organizations operating like the federal government. What if we belonged to parties inside our workplaces and chose to work or not based on what our party determined? What if we could refuse to implement a needed plan just because our party does not agree? I have been working in private for-profit and non-profit organizations for 30 years now and my answer is that our organizations would collapse. At the core of sustainable organizations is the discipline to act on what is right. Taking concerted action in the earliest...
Heineken just seemed to be a beer company to me; one with a ripened value due to years of good reputation. I had never thought about the company's ethics toward profitability or brand positioning until this week when I had dinner with Heineken USA's VP of Corporate Responsibility and Ethics during a business trip to Washington, D.C. During our conversation, some key discoveries were made. I learned how Heineken uses market access to help others. The company, the Heineken executive said, has a responsibility to be “of service...
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