Culture of Fear

Gustavo Grodnitzky Culture Trumps Everything

Fear is a fundamental human emotion. It is one of seven fundamental emotions that are biologically wired into every human and can be recognized across cultures, ethnicities, and nationalities (the other six are anger, disgust, contempt, joy, sadness, and surprise). Fear is caused by the activation of the Amygdala, a structure that lies in one of the most primitive parts …

Double Standards

Gustavo Grodnitzky Culture Trumps Everything

According to Merriam-Webster, a double standard is a set of principles that applies differently and usually more rigorously to one group of people than another. Last week, Takata, a major automobile supplier of airbags, agreed to plead guilty to wire fraud and pay a total of $1 billion in criminal penalties. This stems from the company’s fraudulent conduct in relation …

Building a culture (writ large) for 2017

Gustavo Grodnitzky Culture Trumps Everything

I am an immigrant. My parents brought my brother and me to the United States when I was three years old. My father was a psychiatrist and my mother was a psychiatric nurse. While they both worked as professionals, our family income was modest. Their professional growth was limited by a variety of factors, internal and external. But, as immigrants, …

Politics Writ Large

Gustavo Grodnitzky Culture Trumps Everything

For those of you who know me well, you know that I am a political junkie.  While I spend a great deal of time on the road, I read and keep up with politics as best I can.  For a variety of reason, historically, I have stayed away from politics on this blog.  But given that we just had a …

Short Term vs. Long Term

Gustavo Grodnitzky Classic Capitalism

When organizational leaders are asked if they think in the short term vs. long term, there is a pretty consistent answer: “Long term, of course.” Long term thinking would seem to make sense to all of us, executive, organizational leaders, middle managers, and employees. Long term thinking should create and sustain long term growth for all of our stakeholder (business …

The Axe

Gustavo Grodnitzky Culture Trumps Everything

“And where the offense is, let the great axe fall.” – Shakespeare Finally, after weeks of trying to defend the indefensible, and blaming low level employees for the culture he was responsible for creating, John Stumpf, CEO at Wells Fargo, decided to “retire early.” Stumpf’s decision comes after a brutal grilling by two congressional panels over the bank’s response to …

Denial: It’s more than a river in Egypt

Gustavo Grodnitzky Culture Trumps Everything

For those of us not directly connected to (or victims of) the current Wells Fargo news story discussed in last week’s blog post, it has become the gift that keeps on giving. This week, John Stumpf, CEO at Well’s Fargo, spoke with the Wall Street Journal. Stumpf did not specifically comment on who was ultimately responsible for the practices and …

Policies Limit Behavior; Culture Drives Behavior

Gustavo Grodnitzky Culture Trumps Everything

During the past week, it became public that more than 5,300 Wells Fargo employees, between 2011 and July 2015, created more than 1.5 million unauthorized bank and credit card accounts without customers knowing that these accounts were being created in their names. Why? Policies limit behavior; culture drives behavior. This means that policies tells people what they cannot do, policies …

Cultural Adaptability

Gustavo Grodnitzky Culture Trumps Everything

Over the past two weeks I have had the unique privilege of traveling from my home outside of Denver, Colorado, to Barrow, Alaska, and to the Amazon River basin in Peru. My wife and I make our home in the mountains West of Denver because we appreciate nature and all that it has to offer. Because we are in the …

Culture of Mistrust (Writ Large)

Gustavo Grodnitzky Social Capitalism

This has been a difficult week as a society inside the United States. To see 5 police officers killed in Dallas, TX, earlier this week, and today another 3 killed in Baton Rouge, LA, is simply shocking. There is no excuse, whatsoever, to take an innocent life. Period. Hard stop. In the mid-1990s, at the beginning of my career, I …