Enterprise Transformation

A Pragmatic Approach Using POET

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The Halo Effect is the idea that our overall impression of a person can be based on one trait about them. However, For example, if someone has a likeable personality, people might find that person’s other qualities more appealing. People may listen to them more intently, assume they are correct in what they say, allow them the benefit of the doubt, etc.

In a recent experiment, a man made two videos for a dating website. In the first video, he read the script in an upbeat manner, whereas in the second, he read the same script in a more melancholy fashion. The first video was given to a one group of girls and the second was given to another group, who watched the video in a separate room. The girls who watched the upbeat video found the man to be likeable, while the girls who watched the second video found the man to be unpleasant, even though he had read the exact same script. This can have devastating results.

For those who do not know, the picture on the left is of Jimmy Saville, who was a popular and prolific entertainer on radio and TV, in the UK, in the 60s and 70s. He also did a massive amount of fund raising, sponsorship and voluntary work. Because of his halo, people did not speak out when they had problems or worries or issues regarding him. Shortly after he died in 2011, it was discovered (or rather what was already known, was allowed to be spoken about because the halo did not protect him anymore) that he was in fact a prolific child sexual abuser. By the end of 2012, 14 police forces across the UK, were pursuing 400 lines of inquiry based on testimony from 200 witnesses. In March 2013 Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary reported that 214 of the complaints that had been made against Savile after his death would have been criminal offences if they had been reported at the time.

However, the corollary is also true, and is known as the Horn effect. If we have a negative view of someone, we are less likely to listen to them or entertain their views. We may dismiss anything they have to say as being negative and not worthy of even the time to listen to them. This can have devastating results.

For those who do not know, the picture on the right is of Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon (more commonly known as Tommy Robinson) who is a person that has been vilified and character assassinated by the British News Media and Television for many years. He is always introduced by the media as “The Far Right Extremist and former leader of the EDL, Tommy Robins” instead of “Mr, Tommy Robinson”. He earned this moniker because in 2009 he started an organisation called the English Defence League (EDL) after he had read a newspaper article about local Islamists attempting to recruit men outside a bakery in Luton to fight for the Taliban in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, the (real) far right infiltrated the EDL and turned it into a racist organisation. Because of this, he left it and cut off all ties to it in 2013, but note that despite this, he is still introduced as “The former leader of the EDL”. It’s interesting how the media cling on to that association even though he disassociated himself from them many years ago. The horns that were given to him from 2009 have continued to be attached even though he clearly states he is not racist (because Islam is not a race, it is a religion) but he believes there are teachings in Islam that are counter to English life, citing such things as death for homosexuals and apostates, and the suppression of women in society.

 

Questions to ponder...

Do people in your Enterprise wear halos?

Who were they? What was the impact?

What needs to change to reduce the likelihood of it happening in the future?

Do people in your Enterprise wear horns?

Who were they? What was the impact?

What needs to change to reduce the likelihood of it happening in the future?

Who needs to drive these changes?

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