05.31.15

Today’s 5-star Culture of Lickspittle essay

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle at 10:04 am by George Smith

At the Times, describing corporate America’s hiring practices. If you’ve half a mind left you’ve instinctively understood this for the last few decades.

In another manner of speaking, corporate America is largely composed of bootlickers and the like-minded, chosen by through a mental crutch called “cultural fit.”

Excerpted:

But cultural fit has morphed into a far more nebulous and potentially dangerous concept. It has shifted from systematic analysis of who will thrive in a given workplace to snap judgments by managers about who they’d rather hang out with. In the process, fit has become a catchall used to justify hiring people who are similar to decision makers and rejecting people who are not …

Crucially, though, for these gatekeepers, fit was not about a match with organizational values. It was about personal fit. In these time- and team-intensive jobs, professionals at all levels of seniority reported wanting to hire people with whom they enjoyed hanging out and could foresee developing close relationships with. Fit was different from the ability to get along with clients. Fundamentally, it was about interviewers’ personal enjoyment and fun. Many, like one manager at a consulting firm, believed that “when it’s done right, work is play.”


Discovering shared experiences was one of the most powerful sources of chemistry, but interviewers were primarily interested in new hires whose hobbies, hometowns and biographies matched their own. Bonding over rowing college crew, getting certified in scuba, sipping single-malt Scotches in the Highlands or dining at Michelin-starred restaurants was evidence of fit …

And, no, people who are all alike do not statistically outperform groups which are not.

“[Cultural] fit has become a new form of discrimination that keeps demographic and cultural diversity down, all in the name of employee enjoyment and fun,” it finishes.

“Employee enjoyment and fun.” Try defining what those terms mean in corporate America. You’ll turn yourself inside out.

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