If There Were Gods
Meghan O’Gieblyn | Turbulence at JetBlue | Factoids | Elsewhere
Quote of the Moment
If there were gods, they would surely be laughing their heads off at the inconsistency of our logic.
| Meghan O’Gieblyn, God, Human, Animal, Machine
Turbulence at JetBlue
Recent doings at JetBlue — the Feds blocking the planned merger with Spirit Airlines and the departure of Robin Hayes, the CEO who had pushed the merger effort — have led to a new addition to the list of women facing the ‘glass cliff’, where things deteriorate and a woman is tapped to lead a company through a crisis. According to the New York Times, Joanna Geraghty is a company veteran who has ‘legal, operations and human resources, and has served as chief operating officer since 2018’, and has now been dubbed to take over next month as CEO: the first woman to lead a major U.S. airline.
I wrote about the glass cliff only a few beats ago in Glass Ceiling, Glass Cliff:
Women are disadvantaged from the top -- the glass ceiling, where women are blocked from advancement to senior roles -- to the bottom: the glass cliff, where risky opportunities open in a time of crisis. Women and minorities are often asked to step in during crises, because they are (likely) to be seen as different from the former leader (often white and male), and are viewed as expendable if they fail.
Geraghty is confronting the challenge of appealing the block merger. An earlier attempt to merge with American Airlines was also blocked on antitrust concerns, and Alaska scooped up Virgin America. JetBlue may have to continue to compete directly against the big four airlines, who, as a group, command 66% of domestic air travel.
On Friday, the company reported it was cutting routes to cut its burn and increase reliability.
The earlier piece on the Glass Cliff effect was inspired by executive recruiter Keith Dorsey’s essay on the subject.
Dorsey says you shouldn’t take it on unless you can come up with a plan that trusted advisors and the company will support.
I suppose we will hear more about this in the coming weeks.
Part of the trap for women in this situation is that they are given the job during a crisis to take the fall if things go sideways. As Dorsey put it:
Women and other minorities may be selected because these positions are precarious, and the failure and subsequent departure of the candidate is highly likely. In such cases, these individuals may be seen as necessary but acceptable casualties of the crisis if things continue to go wrong.
Only 6 out of 158 U.S. CEOs will prioritize bringing workers back to the office full-time in 2024, according to the Conference Board. This confirms a Deloitte November 2023 survey where 65% of CFOs reported plans for hybrid work this year. | Axios
Looks like hybrid is the new normal, after all, despite this weird video by Internet Brands.
Donald Trump was the first president since Hoover to leave the White House with fewer Americans employed than when arrived. | Paul Krugman
People are just not paying attention.
The money spent on risk assessment is a proxy for the size of the risk.
The growth of bureaucracy costs America over $3 trillion in lost economic output every year. | Gary Hamel, Michele Zanini
I read a poorly framed David Brooks piece about the costs of bureaucracy with this factoid referenced. Don Moynihan does a great job of dissecting Brooks errors and omissions in What David Brooks Gets Wrong about the Time Tax.
The top 10 percent of motorists in the United States drive an average of about 40,200 miles per year and account for roughly one-third of the nation’s gasoline use. Persuading more of these “gasoline superusers” to go electric would lead to a much faster reduction in emissions. […] They spend about 10 percent of their household income on gasoline. | Coltura
A great example of why we can’t rely on market forces to address crazy social errors. The Feds should create a program to get these people in EVs or at least hybrids.
I Am Going to Miss Pitchfork, but That’s Only Half the Problem | Ezra Klein laments for the decline of the middle in media: only the small or large can survive.
In Martin Luther King Jr.'s Organizational Systems, Jillian Hess writes about the activist’s note card system, which sounds boring, but isn’t.
Workplace Wellness Programs Have Little Benefit, Study Finds | Ellen Barry reports on new research. Although many companies tout their wellness programs as a indication of their commitment to employee health, it turns out that 'people that participated in them were no better off than colleagues that had not'. 'Trainings on resilience and stress management actually appeared to have a negative effect.' The study's author, William J. Fleming of Oxford, said 'if you’re seriously trying to drive employees well-being, then it has to be about working practices.'
I researched the term workism back in 2019, and found the original use from 2014 by Nick Barlow.