Our “Rank and Yank” Culture

English: The first verse of Yankee Doodle, a w...

English: The first verse of Yankee Doodle, a well-known US song. The words are from a well-known song that first appeared in the 1700s. Any copyright for the words would have expired. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The word Yankee or the shortened form “Yank” is an offensive word when used by foreigners, especially those residing in the UK.  Yankee dates back in time, the song Yankee Doodle developed by the British as an insult in 1775.  In true American form, we adopted the term in a complimentary sense.  We won the war and set the standard from that moment forward.

Now, you can call Americans anything you want, except . . . late for dinner.

Now, we have organizational cultures with a “rank and yank” mentality.  We should reference it as “mental.”  “Gee, I wonder why employees hate our company” is a oft heard lament of HR.  Well, it could be that teamwork you build by stack ranking employees creating competition and the brown-nosing manipulator too often takes the top spot.  Real ideas are lost to pleasing the risk averse hierarchy.

The revelation that Microsoft and many other organizations throughout the US embrace stacked ranking and the “rank and yank” mentality exposes either our stupidity or ignorance – choose one.  We have so many difficulties in competing these days and coming up with new ideas that can unleash growth and employment that we have no time for this silliness.

For more read this article on better thinking.

Tripp Babbitt is a speaker, blogger and consultant to service industry (private and public).  His organization helps executives find a better way to make the work work.  Read his articles at Quality Digest and his column for CustomermanagementIQ.com.  Learn more about the The 95 Method for service organizations.  Reach him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TriBabbittor LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/trippbabbitt.

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