Learning from Others’ Mistakes

It is often said that we don’t learn from the mistakes of others; we must make their own mistakes.  Yet, it is also often said that the importance of studying history is so that we don’t repeat the mistakes (that others made) of history.  So, which is it?

Increasingly, I
think it is the former, that people don’t learn from the mistakes of others. Is
it that they don’t pay attention? That they think they are smarter; that it
won’t happen to them?  They can’t/don’t
see themselves in those “others?”

Whatever Read more

3 Monkey Culture

My holiday wish to all employees is that your leader(s) comes to understand the importance of culture.   Forget laws and regulations – they are the reactions to the failure of established, protective, positive cultures.  They are a last, and sorry, resort for a culture that has failed to do its work and to demand, and then reward, the expected and only acceptable behavior.

There are so many examples of cultures gone awry.   How about with the current craze:  writing inclusion policies.*  If you have to write Read more

A real working board

Twice a year I get to revisit the debacle that was  Penn State’s board back at the time of Sandusky, as I use the Freeh Report as case study for my graduate students.  Each time I reread it or discuss it, I renew my belief that I expressed the very first time that I wrote about the Freeh Report in 2012, that this should be required reading by every nonprofit board member.  And, then, every board should have a thorough conversation, identifying all of the mistakes the Read more

Abuse of Power

No doubt Penn State will become a case study on many levels for years to come.  Implications for boards go far beyond the limits of higher education and are a sobering tale of abuse and abdication of responsibility.

Here are selected lowlights from the Louis Freeh report of his investigation into Penn State and the Jerry Sandusky horror.

Before May 1998, “several” staff members and football coaches “regularly” witnessed Sandusky showering with young boys; no one reported this behavior to a superior.
In May 1998, when a mother Read more

July 19th, 2012 0 Comment
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