The notorious “Potty-Mouth Princesses” have done it again.* [See viral Christmas video: http://vimeo.com/113529207]. What is startling for viewers to process is the juxtaposition of something so charming and sweet, such as these possibly aged 8-10-year old girls dressed in pink/white/purple as princesses, with something so vulgar as the coarse language they use to express their point, e.g. the “f-bombs,” which have them labeled as the “potty-mouth princesses.” These two behaviors are societally considered as polar opposites. This results in what is known as “shock value.” Shock Value is an intentional action (verbal or non-verbal), which provokes massive public disgust (or other negative emotions).
Brilliantly produced with rhyme, facts, vivid colors, fast imagery, and humor, these social media darlings point out that if you viewers find something such as their language so revolting, then perhaps you may wish to consider appropriately placing your disgust where the REAL offense is; namely, that women are still not paid the same for equal work. In the video, Santa declares, “Women who get A’s are paid as much as guys who got C’s in class!”
Whenever an organization espouses values which do not match the organizational behavior, there is a disconnect, and performance is measurably and negatively impacted. This is a well-documented cause for organizational failure [see Laurence Ackerman’s Identity Is Destiny: Leadership and the Roots of Value Creation]. Staying true to the organizational values and “walking the talk” has been what has made corporate giants such as Disney and Johnson & Johnson successful; while the lack of adherence to the professed values has brought other more propaganda-filled organizations to their knees with yearly lay-off’s and resignations.
If Corporate America truly is based on “meritocracy,” “equal opportunity,” and a fighting spirit / can-do attitude (exemplified with the Nike slogan, “Just do it!”) then, WHERE is the outrage? Qualitative (observable) nor quantitative (numbers) data does not support the values we, as Corporate America, claim to have. Frankly, it’s like the princesses call it: bullsh*t.
This is not authentic leadership. Nor is it common business sense. Adam Smith, the “father” of Capitalism, rolls in his grave.
Germany Seizes the Reins
It takes a “logical” nation to “Just do it.” On 12.11.14, the Wall Street Journal released that Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel has passed a law that impacts more than 100 of their companies, by requiring them to have at least 30% women on their supervisory boards. This is a historic milestone.
This is not a “do the ‘right thing’ argument;” it is a business case argument. Research Center Catalyst reports that Fortune 500 companies with 3+ women on the Board outperform other companies with 53% more returns on equities, 42% more return on sales, and 66% more return invested capital.
And, anyone who knows Germans would not call them the fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants, emotionally compulsive type of people. Broadly speaking, Germans, as a whole, operate by carefully calculating the risks involved, and they “say what they mean” and “mean what they say.” Further, they desire continuity – they build products and establish relationships meant to last. They are authentic.
Merkel is a leader who is poised to demonstrate to the world how Germany is a market economy. The world is watching another “talent” revolution unfold.
Danke Schön, Bundeskanzlerin Merkel.
Rossina Gil, MSOD, MAIS, is a Leadership and Organization Development Practitioner, a time-quality provider, and the founder of Corporate Looking Glass, LLC – a diverse consultancy of OD experts and strategic thinking partners. We increase retention. Visit CorporateLookingGlass.com.
© Rossina Gil, 2014
*In collaboration with Synergy Media, FCKH8.com is a for-profit T-shirt company with a team of passionate people whose mission is to create positive social change for basic humanity (i.e. race, gender, and marriage equality). Their T-shirts act as “mini-billboards” for change, and a significant portion of your purchase goes directly towards LGBT charities. (I bought two T-shirts).