Ross Dawson's Questions | Organizational Bullshit Perception Scale | Cashing In On Quiet Quitting
Quote of the Moment
Curiosity is, in great and generous minds, the first passion and the last.
| Samuel Johnson
Why Is Intentional Disengagement like Retreating From The Coast?
My old friend Ross Dawson wants to interview me for a podcast to explore information overload, and how some people manage to deal with it. He has a new book — Thriving on Overload — out on the topic, which had just landed on the top of my reading pile.
He sent me a detailed list of questions, which I might normally consider an imposition, but I found the exercise fascinating. You can see my answers, here.
Curiosity isn’t mentioned directly, but it underlies everything in my approach to what I do and how I do it,
Here’s one question that relates directly to the future of work:
Dawson: What helps you to synthesize your ideas and thinking into higher levels of insight?
Boyd: Writing, and interaction with others through exchange of ideas. I find humor is critical to breaking through barriers to insight.
Today, for example, in a conference panel on engagement I used the analogy of intentionally retreating from the coastline given climate change as an analog of intentionally adopting 'unteams' (or 'co-acting groups' as described by Constance Noonan Hadley and Mark Mortensen), which loosen the ties between individuals, and adopting more of a hollywood model, without a great deal of team-building. The analogy works because the high level of investment companies make in building teams is often not worth it. But, just as we will see in Florida post-Ian, the natural inclination is to rebuild instead of retreating, even when the houses will just be knocked down again. In business, we keep focusing on (re)building teams, even though employee engagement remains chronically low, and companies don't get the ROI they expect from teams.
This was based on what started as a wise-crack.
Every reader might benefit from answering these questions, too.
Organizational Bullshit Perception Scale
I shouldn’t be surprised that academics research the degree of bullshit being spread in organizations, but I didn’t expect them to use the term ‘bullshit’; but they do, apparently.
A group of researchers — Caitlin Ferreira, David Hannah, Ian McCarthy, Leyland Pitt, Sarah Lord Ferguson — published This Place Is Full of It: Towards an Organizational Bullshit Perception Scale. I haven’t read it (paywall), but here’s the abstract, and one chart I saw on LinkedIn:
This study evaluated the psychometric properties of the Organizational Bullshit Perception Scale (OBPS) using two samples of employees of organizations in various sectors. The scale is designed to gauge perceptions of the extent of organizational bullshit that exists in a workplace, where bullshit is operationalized as individuals within an organization making statements with no regard for the truth. Analyses revealed three factors of organizational bullshit, termed _regard for truth, the boss_ and _bullshit language_. The three factors are consistent with existing literature in the field of organizational bullshit and offer further insight into how employees view workplace bullshit. The OBPS constitutes three subscales measuring these factors. Future researchers should seek to validate the OBPS and further develop the identified factors of organizational bullshit.
Try answering these questions about your organization.
Cashing in on Quiet Quitting
It looks like I should change my LinkedIn bio to include ‘Quiet Quitting Wrangler’ or some similar bullshit title, so I can join the mob of consultants selling snake oil to desperate managers wanting to tamp down the disengagement pandemic.
In The Gurus Who Say They Can Fix Quiet Quitting at Work—for $15,000 a Day, Callum Borchers explores this new wrinkle in the world of consultingology:
If you’re running a company now, chances are your inbox is full of messages from experts claiming they can goose morale, foster connection, boost buy-in and make various other jargon-studded dreams come true. The people who claim to know the most about quiet quitting are real go-getters, it turns out.
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