Releasing January 2016: Blue Health™ — A Corporate Wellness Program

Blue Health2

What does Blue Health™ include?  Two facilitators lead the two days of constructive conversations which result in personalized Action Plans and a Purpose statement.  The metric tools utilized are: Ntrinsx SF

What makes Blue Health™ better than other corporate wellness programs?

This program is designed by professional Organization Development practitioners based around the USA, who have banded together from having formerly worked with today’s most competitive wellness models:

Blue Zones, Creation Health, and Healthy Companies.  It is also endorsed by Medical Doctors.

Collectively, the wealth of our experience maximizes your corporate health and competitive advantage.

How do I sign my organization up for Blue Health™?

Please write us at  An associate will connect with you promptly.                                                          Rossina Laugh 1

Rossina Gil, MSOD, MAIS, is the founder of Corporate Looking Glass, LLC — a consultancy firm active across the USA, composed of Organization Development practitioners, Executive Coaches, and Interculturalists.  Rossina is a former resident of the only “Blue Zone” in the country, and shares her community lessons in this Wellness program, along with her insights from working across multiple industries.



New Executives?  Your company may have a “fish out of water” story on its hands.  What is the process of acculturation (i.e. on-boarding) in place at your organization?

Commonly, when corporations send its top talent to other regions, including countries, to stretch the top performers’ abilities and learn how to adeptly be a Global Leader through international experience, the executives are offered two full days of cross-cultural coaching.  This type of consulting is to prepare for the full immersion; or, in some cases, it is arranged for post-arrival.

In order to survive in a new work environment, it is imperative that prior to joining, you are aware of the climate.  Now, with the help of, et al, insiders are providing glimpses of what the organizational culture is like for those on the outside looking to join.

Organizational Culture is a pattern of assumptions, values, and norms which are shared by organization members. Culture can evolve intentionally and unintentionally. (See Blog Corporate Primatology).  By understanding a culture’s norms, we can work towards the desired outcome. This applies to understanding family cultures (the in-laws), national cultures (expats), and corporate cultures (employees).

Understanding the Norms

Norms are unwritten rules of behavior that guide what members of groups do and don’t do. Norms serve a need, such as group cohesion, and provide predictability. Predictability keeps most members feeling safe because they learn the nature of the “reward band.” A reward band is recognition, bonuses, promotions, favoritism, extended to those who behave accordingly.

However, norms are mostly unconscious and might not reflect actual written policies.  They may also be contrary to whatever values the organization espouses to hold.  This is why it is paramount that new members identify the norms as early as possible in order to avoid pitfalls and land mines.

Identify the Norm. “Around here, when it comes to _________ we ________.”

E.g. Around here, when it comes to “feedback,” we “handle it face-to-face discreetly” or “handle it in the hallway with a colleague” or “take it straight to Human Resources (HR),” etc.

Around here, when it comes to “working weekends,” we “regularly come in on Saturdays,” or “can work from home” or “have this reduced to just travel,” etc.

Around here, when it comes to “vacation/Paid Time Off (PTO)” we “are contactable by cell only for emergencies,” or “are not contactable” or “are always contactable,” etc.


  • Analysis.  Have an Organization Development practitioner conduct an analysis to determine your organizational culture. Norms should be mapped. (See What is OD? and Hellenistic Philosophy and Leadership).
  • Accurate Portrayal. Have recruiters deliver a fair assessment of what kind of organizational culture the new employee can expect.                                                                                        Antartica
  • Relo Help. Arrange for Relocation Assistance, if the new colleague relocated to the area.  Relocation Assistance helps New Arrivals become familiar with the area (e.g. where to shop, DMV, places of worship, info on neighborhoods, etc).
  • Retention Convo. Hold a retention/engagement conversation with the new employee. cards are a useful tool.  The supervisor should review this every six months.
  • Orientation. Deliver an on-boarding program which helps people understand the organizational norms AND avoid the pit-falls which have driven previous colleagues to leave.
  • Lingo. Provide a list of acronyms and terminology that is part of the organizational language.
  • Buddy. Assign a buddy or counselor, in addition to the Human Resource Business Partner (HRBP) on the first day.  Have the HRBP meet monthly with the new colleague (this should be on the calendar).
  • PDP. Develop a Professional Development Plan as a strategic document for the new colleague to understand what is expected of him/her.
  • Intros.  Set up meetings with key partners, vendors, clients, and co-workers as a way to introduce the new colleague into the organization.
  • Team Retreat. Share team strengths and responsibilities with each other during a private lunch meeting, full- or half-day meeting – preferably off-campus.  Psychometric tools and/or Organization Development exercises are useful for an accelerated bonding process.
  • Evaluation.  Disclose how the new colleague will be measured for performance management.
  • NLI. Schedule a New Leader Integration process, if the new colleague has direct reports, within 60-90 days.  Do NOT hold feedback until then; coaching must be timely and positively

Much like a plant being transferred from one location to another, the new colleague requires nurturing (i.e. compassionate coaching).  This is fertile soil.

While no one can mandate a welcoming organizational culture, having a structured, transparent, and easy-to-find-resources work environment, will maximize retention.

Rossina Gil, MSOD, MAIS, is a Global Leadership and Organization Development Practitioner, and sits on the Advisory Council of the Insight Garden Program, a leadership program designed to promote rehabilitation for San Quentin penitentiary prisoners.  Rossina is the founder of Corporate Looking Glass, LLC – a diverse consultancy of OD experts and strategic thinking partners.   We increase retention.  Visit

© Rossina Gil, 2015

For Immediate Release: Blue Health™, A Corporate Wellness Program

Blue Health

Come January 2016, Corporate Looking Glass, LLC, is offering a 2-day Corporate Wellness program called Blue Health™.

Start your new year off to the right start by leveraging your corporate competitive advantage.  Designed by author Rossina Gil, former resident of the only “Blue Zone” (i.e. 5 global areas with the highest longevity) located in the USA, Blue Health™  incorporates positive behaviors that impact Mind, Body, Spirit, and the Organization.  Results have proven to improve overall individual, team, and organizational effectiveness.

Blue Health™ is jam-packed with highly interactive sessions to raise employee engagement.  It includes two facilitators, two psychometric tools, and materials.  Deliverables include a personal Action Plan and a Purpose Statement.

Corporate Looking Glass associates are based around the USA.  Please visit

Se habla Español.  Japanese is also available.

Corey Keyes (American Sociologist and Psychologist, International Positive Psychology Association Conference 2015): Health is more than the absence; it is something positive.

Climbing the Ladder of Inference with Andrea Bocelli


Work colleagues get a lot of exercise climbing the Ladder of Inference.  We take action on our beliefs from stories that we solidify in our minds.  It is done within seconds.  This is especially dangerous when the ladder climbing is done by senior executives in snap judgments about colleagues at lower levels.  Projects are taken away, erroneous information is passed along, missed opportunities for professional growth and development (on both sides) take place, and more unfortunate circumstances happen.

When Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli delivered his first performance in New York City several years ago, a critic wrote something along the lines of, Bocelli’s magnificence has clearly gone to his head as he failed to establish eye contact with his adoring audience. The critic had risen up the Ladder of Inference (see image below) by first selecting from the observable data the fact (or behavior) that Andrea did not establish eye contact. This part no one can dispute.

The meaning he applied to the behavior is that lack of eye contact signals megalomania. The assumption he drew is that anyone who is talented (or, in other cases, intelligent, beautiful, etc.) feels s/he is at a higher level than the rest and, thus, does not need to look anyone in the eye. The conclusion is that Bocelli was “full of himself” because he is such a fantastic singer that this clear talent gives him justification to act as though he is better than the rest. The critic’s belief is that Bocelli’s personality is a detriment to his talent.

If you know anything about Andrea Bocelli, you would then know that he is blind. Blind people have a considerable challenge to look anyone in the eye.



Here is one remedy to avoid this workplace hazard:

  1. DESCRIBE THE BEHAVIOR: Andrea, I saw you sing with your eyes closed.
  2. ASK FOR INTERPRETATION: Would you please tell me what that means to you?

(Colleague interprets behavior).

  1. EVALUATE: Based off of this information, you can decide whether Andrea merits a more favorable review for his outstanding performance.


Here is another remedy to avoid this workplace hazard:

The mentor conversation may involve impact.  It would sound something like this:

Andrea, I noticed that you performed with your eyes closed (BEHAVIOR).  The impact I had is that we are inferior to you.  I know that only I own my emotions (ACCOUNTABILITY), and I am concerned (FEELING) that others may feel the same way; so, I wanted to privately (PROFESSIONAL) offer you this feedback in an effort to support your success at our organization (CONSTRUCTIVE).  The culture here is about treated others as equals (MENTORING).”

Wait for response.  In this instance, the mentor might feel embarrassed upon discovering the reason; in other cases, the mentor may wish to co-create an action plan and follow up.

Mentor feedback focuses on behavior.  It is constructive feedback; not destructive feedback that would leave a colleague feeling as though he may have jeopardized his future at the organization and/or instantly alienated himself from colleagues.

Above all, AVOID LABELS (i.e. adjectives) and focus on behaviors.  Telling Andrea (or anyone else, for that matter) that he is snobby, big-headed, stuck-up, etc. does not help him get to where the larger system can benefit from his talent.  How can your words and actions move the organization forward?  Speak with the person who is worthy of your counsel and perspective.  That will lead you, and the other individual, towards much richer conversations and outcomes.


Rossina Gil, MSOD, MAIS, is a firm believer in growing and developing talent as a Global Leadership and Organization Development Practitioner, and is the founder of Corporate Looking Glass, LLC – a diverse consultancy of OD experts and strategic thinking partners.

We increase retention.  Visit

© Rossina Gil, 2015


Senge, Peter.  The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of the Learning Organization

Vocation Staycation


Theologian Frederick Buechner defines vocation as “the place where your deep gladness meets the world’s deep need.”  The root of the word is “vocare” – which means “to call,” in other words, your vocation is “a calling.”  (See also blog Purpose).  It comes from listening, or paying attention, to what speaks to you; what provides meaning and satisfaction for your existence.  It is not something you chase, it is something you already hold within you, and you build upon it to achieve greatness in generating positivity in others.

Sociologist Parker Palmer phrases vocation this way:

“What a long time it can take to become the person one has always been.  How much dissolving and shaking of ego we must endure before we discover our deep identity, the true self within every human being that is the seed of authentic vocation.”

Organizational Application

St. Thomas Health, a leading division of Ascension Health, is a medical system based in Nashville, Tennessee, which provides a vocational perspective for its mission.  Its Leadership Development program is called Formation, which includes leaders from middle management, executive management, C-Suite, and Board Members, and is delivered over the course of 10 months to 2 years (depending on level).

The leaders at St. Thomas Health follow what they refer to as the Spiritual Leadership Model, as opposed to the typical corporate or traditional leadership model, which is more pervasive across Corporate America.  The emotional impact of 9-11, the globalization effect of the internet, and the increasing influence of the Millennial/Gen Y generation are shifting some organizations (e.g. TOMS, Burt’s Bees) to drive engagement and productivity through their culture of giving.  The connection they establish between employee and the marketplace creates a synergistic effect that becomes profitable.

Traditional Leadership Model Spiritual Leadership Model
THEME I came, I saw, I conquered.

(Latin: Veni. Vidi. Vici.)

I was called, I heard, and entered in.
PURPOSE Unique: Different from others. Created & Interdependent
VALUE Doing Being
DIRECTION Outward; Exclusive Inward; Inclusive
MARKED BY Extrinsic: Materialism, Status Intrinsic: Depth, wisdom
MINIMIZE Failure; setbacks Nothing; all belongs

Individual Application

Mary Lou O’Gorman is the Executive Director of Pastoral Care at St. Thomas Health.  She describes her primary responsibility as “grief work,” since she deals with the passings and changes of circumstance for patients and/or their families.  Over the course of 30 years of service in this role, she has become adept at helping people begin the path of “What does it mean to not be who I was?”

Sooner or later we are all faced with this question…and at several junctures in our lives.  Mary Lou’s calling is a call of Compassion – one that involves helping others navigate through challenging, and often sudden, situations of change to the way things are from what they used to be.  Change Management, therefore, is a requisite in life; since change is the only constant variable with us from cradle to grave.

This path is not easy.  However, authentic leadership requires the ability to tap into one’s core identity and the deftness to support others in finding their own.  It is through this nurturing and strengthening of spirit that will lead you, others, and the organization as a whole towards quicker recovery and resilience during times of emotional fatigue and stress.

“Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.” — Max Ehrmann, “Desiderata

Rossina Gil, MSOD, MAIS, engages as a servant-leader Global Leadership and Organization Development Practitioner, and is the founder of Corporate Looking Glass, LLC – a diverse consultancy of OD experts and strategic thinking partners.   We increase retention.  Visit

© Rossina Gil, 2015


Kearney, Jerry.  St Thomas Health, VP Mission Services

O’Gorman, Mary Lou.  Executive Director, Pastoral Care

Palmer, Parker.  Let Your Life Speak

Exceptional People

Michael Jordan

Sports Psychologist Bob Rotella just released his book How Champions Think.  In it, he shares the “virtuous cycle,” which is the winning formula for success in any field that enables you to serve the world with the gift you’ve been granted.  His formula?  Optimism + Confidence + Persistence = Success

Optimism (Thoughts)

Exceptional people engage in helpful frames of mind.  They go beyond the “Little Train Engine That Could” — which repeated his mantra of “I think I can” — to “I know I can.”  These thoughts include:

  • Visualization. Our imagination is an invaluable tool many of us left in the sandbox.  For visualization to work, it must be vividly detailed and intense.  It must entail the senses: sights, sounds, touch, and smells of the experience.  Rotella: A vivid, sensual detailed visualization helps convince the subconscious that the experience is actually happening. (pg 51)

Be limitless. Rotella believes that if Jack Nicklaus had won 25 majors and Tiger Woods had set out to surpass him, Tiger would have won 20 majors by now (instead of 19 & 14, respectively).  Much like breaking a plank of wood in karate, aim for what’s behind the wood; not the plank itself.  Aiming high enables your chance to be great; it will make your failure be better than most people’s best.

  • Re-framing. Exceptional people respond to perceived failures/misfortunes and react to the events in their lives as lessons to draw from, then they forget the negative aspects. Rotella: There’s a difference between learning from failure and wallowing in it. (pg 178) Bulls coach Dean Smith told Michael Jordan to give himself no more than 10-20 mins to reflect on an undesirable performance, if he ever wanted to reach his personal vision.  Think and remember in ways that will keep a positive outlook.
  • Positive Self-Talk. Exceptional people thrive off of positive input; however, the cost of greatness entails getting knocked down a lot. Be confident in your ability.  Doubt and fear ruin performance.  Jack Nicklaus: You have to be a legend in your own mind before you can be a legend in your own time.

Confidence (Feelings)

Exceptional people gain confidence from their optimistic outlook.  This feeling is fueled by passion for loving what they do.  Healthy feelings include:

  • Enthusiasm. Exceptional people live for their wins. They build on their successes.  They find it every day.  They get into the flow of being good at something they love doing.  Ralph Waldo Emerson: Nothing great has ever been accomplished without enthusiasm.
  • Patience. Exceptional people show enormous patience (and perseverance) when they have an improvement process in place.  Setbacks do not take them off-track from their quest for excellence.  Rotella: You’re unstoppable if you’re unflappable. (pg. 161)
  • Humility. Exceptional people keep their ego in check, despite the level and ranking attained. They do not feel as though they are better or more entitled than anyone else.


Persistence (Behaviors)

It is not enough to internalize success.  Exceptional people create action plans.  Practices include:

  • Network. Exceptional people surround themselves with and listen to, people who will help them be great. Optimism and confidence are contagions; and success is not a journey for the sole traveler.  These are people who support and encourage without going so far as to pander.  These people are “straight shooters” – ones who will tell you what you need to hear in order for you to move forward towards your vision; even when it may be information you would not like to hear. We learn from those who can see what we are capable of achieving; oftentimes more than we can see for ourselves.  There is wisdom to be gained from people who believe in us.
  • Accountability. Exceptional people never blame failures on others. They are fully functional adults who constantly ask themselves, “What more can I do?”  Most people are not capable of self-evaluating, but exceptional are.  They set their own performance bars.

Exceptional people also know when to evaluate themselves.  They suspend evaluation until post-performance so as not to distract their natural ability and get in their own way.  Overthinking can result in “analysis paralysis;” it is best to allow the subconscious to control the moment (and not introduce the conscious to hi-jack your performance), since evaluation is a function of the conscious brain.  Course corrections can come later.

  • Mindfulness. Exceptional people hold onto favorable memories, and let the rest go. Then, there is only the present moment to enjoy and build upon.  Focus on the shot, and do not think about the consequences of the shot.

Call it “The Secret,” learned effectiveness, your vision board, or whatever you choose…one thing is for sure: Exceptional people maintain a vision and dream big—of excellent performances, of a beautiful life, of a stellar career, of a great something.

Rotella:  “When you retire, you’ll like the face you see in the mirror.  On your last day, you’ll look back and think how lucky you were to have lived the life you did.”

Create your own reality.

Rossina Gil, MSOD, MAIS, is an optimistic Global Leadership and Organization Development Practitioner, and the founder of Corporate Looking Glass, LLC – a diverse consultancy of OD experts and strategic thinking partners.   We increase retention.  Visit

© Rossina Gil, 2015

L.E.A.P. into Whole-Brained Communication


While most of us use both sides of our brain on a daily basis, men are generally known for leaning more heavily on the left side of their brains, and women are generally known for leaning more heavily on the right side of their brains.  (Comedian Jeanne Robertson on Left-Brain:

The workplace and dynamic between manager and direct report used to be about “Situation and Solution;” yet, now with the prevalence of more women in the work environment, and Millennials who desire more collaboration, there are two more steps which need to be “sandwiched” in between the standard situation and solution conversation.  These two steps connect the mind with the heart.

Look before You L.E.A.P. 

I recently worked with a CIO who shared with me that his secret formula for success in managing people pretty much boiled down to one acronym: L.E.A.P.

L = Listen.  Presenting the situation requires active listening.  Active listening requires that the Receiver stays silent and focused on what the Sender is communicating.  No interruptions (i.e. clarifying questions), because that may steer the communication to deliver information which the Receiver may consider more important, yet it may be of lesser importance to the Sender and steer him/her away from disclosing pertinent information.

Examples: “I want to talk with you about the lack of feedback I received on my last project, but also in general.  I keep trying to meet with you, and it seems like there is never an opportunity to do so.”  Or, “I am so incredibly frustrated by how my colleague promises to deliver and never does.”

E = Empathize.  This is where it’s important to add an emotion and/or paraphrase.  Right-brain Senders appreciate heartfelt understanding.  If after practicing active listening, you cannot figure out why the Sender would be so agitated, saying, “So what?” often trivializes the Sender’s intent to share.

Examples: “That’s frustrating when that happens; I know the feeling.” Or, “You want your colleague to follow through on commitments.  I value integrity.”

A = Ask.  Clarifying questions can start here to make sure the Receiver fully understands the scope of the situation.  It is also important at this stage to determine whether the Sender wants to just vent or if s/he is coming to the Receiver for problem-solving.  Left-brains have often delivered unappreciated, unsolicited advice, because they skip this step.  The Sender may just wish for a “sounding board” to air out some thoughts and feelings.

Examples:  “How can I help?” “So, to be clear, your interpretation/impact of what happened is…”

P = Problem Solve.  This is the part left-brains wish to leap to…they wish to check a task off their list.  Some conversations are initiated by the Sender for him/her to process, and they’ve selected the Receiver because s/he is a trusted source.  Consider it a compliment.  It is vital to bear in mind that the best way to gain buy-in to a solution is for the solution to come from the Sender.  It is also a prime opportunity for the Receiver to treat the moment as a way to allow the Sender to develop his/her managerial technique in resolving situations.

Examples: “What do you have in mind to resolve this?” “A Best Practice for me on a situation analogous to this one is when…”

Whole-Brained Approach

Remember that instead of the old situation and solution conversation, a more effective approach is to slow down the stimulus-response with an extra two steps.  These two steps include 1) bringing in the heart by empathizing and relating to how the Sender feels; and, 2) demonstrating comprehension of the need at hand by asking clarification what is really being said and for your role in this conversation.

Rossina Gil, MSOD, MAIS, is a whole-brained Global Leadership and Organization Development Practitioner, and the founder of Corporate Looking Glass, LLC – a diverse consultancy of OD experts and strategic thinking partners.   We increase retention.  Visit

© Rossina Gil, 2015

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At the Intersection of Peck and Disney


The second best-selling nonfiction book of all time after the Bible is psychologist Morgan Scott Peck’s The Road Less Traveled. His message is that personal growth is a “complex, arduous and lifelong task” — which most choose to avoid.  If we can accept responsibility for our growth by actively embracing the discomfort instead of pretending that it will simply fade away by ignoring it, then we can achieve the quality of our life we seek to have.

Peck’s book is fairly easy to understand, yet its theory is brought to life on the big screen by Disney in the movie Saving Mr. Banks.  By blending Peck’s theory with Disney’s art imitating life, we can readily understand how Peck’s theory of the “sins of the father” impacts us in the workplace.

The Sins of the Father

Peck addresses how individuals are conditioned (i.e. impacted) significantly by parents and/or parental figures.  Poor parenting can result in neuroses and character disorders.

In Disney’s film Saving Mr. Banks, we follow the story of the British author P.L. Travers, who is the creator of the story “Mary Poppins.”  The film reveals how Travers based Mary Poppins loosely around the details of her own life, transposing herself into the role of the nanny – as the rescuer of the family, which enabled her to create, as the nanny, more order and levity in a world that was filled with chaos.

In her real life, Travers was self-imprisoned in pain because she could not get over her past.  Painful reminders triggered her behavior towards others to be off-putting/rude/disrespectful.  When Disney produced the film with a happy ending, Travers experienced a cathartic release.  Mr. Banks was saved.  Saving Mr. Banks saved Travers momentarily.  Peck’s point is we can never self-actualize (i.e. grow into our full potential) until we save ourselves; and, that requires work.

Organizational Impact

The “sins of the father” surface daily within the workplace.  Talent emerges from the home environment into employment with a collection of needs which often stem from pain.  Those who suffer may have a strong driver to succeed in an effort to prove their worth, which can turn ugly.


  • The colleague who lacked attention from her parents growing up will stop at nothing to gain recognition in the workplace…to the point of using Machiavellian moves.
  • The colleague who felt rejection from his mother who sent him off to a strict (barbed-wire surrounded) boarding academy ends up persecuting those female direct reports who he perceives as challenging instead of serving as acolytes.
  • The colleague whose parents never accepted his sexual orientation and ends up winning the trust of a CEO, which gains him a high-level position; whereupon he ruthlessly leads with the thirst of power/revenge he craved for so long as an adolescent.

We are each the sum of our experiences.  We have been conditioned by our experiences to behave in a way which helps us rise above from the pain.  That behavior may not be healthy for you, nor for others around you.


  • Meet regularly with your company’s Industrial/Organizational Psychology or Organization Development practitioner.
  • Request specific, constructive feedback in your 360 review and/or conversations.
  • Utilize your company’s Employee Assistance Program to work with a counselor.
  • Seek counsel from a spiritual leader.
  • Hire an executive coach.

May your journey be enjoyable, despite the bumps.  And, the bumps build character.

Scott Peck: “All my life I used to wonder what I would become when I grew up. Then, about seven years ago, I realized that I was never going to grow up – that growing is an ever ongoing process.”

Rossina Gil, MSOD, MAIS, is a constantly growing Global Leadership and Organization Development Practitioner, and the founder of Corporate Looking Glass, LLC – a diverse consultancy of OD experts and strategic thinking partners.   We increase retention.  Visit

© Rossina Gil, 2015

The Gender Big Mac Index

Big Mac

The Big Mac Index was invented by the magazine The Economist in 1986, as a lighthearted way to measure whether global currencies are at their “correct” level.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), women in the USA earn 78 cents on the dollar.  Put another way, that constitutes 22% less pay than their male counterparts for doing the SAME work.  So let’s apply this to the Big Mac Index, by calling it the Gender Big Mac Index.

Gender Big Mac Index

In the USA, a Big Mac costs about $4.79.  Let’s combine this statistic with the BLS statistic of how much women in the USA make, regardless of profession; even in fields where women dominate.

Scenario 1:  A man walks into McDonald’s pays $4.79, and gets to eat the entire burger.  In Marketing Economics, this is called: a fair exchange.

Scenario 2: A woman walks into a McDonald’s, sees the price is listed at $4.79, but it will cost her $5.84.  In Marketing Economics, this is called: the two subjects are operating in entirely different economies.

Gender Big Mac Index Intensified

Here is where things get tricky…in the above Scenario 2, the woman pays more for her Big Mac because she earns less.  The Big Mac is listed at the same price for both genders, but the woman has less to spend, so the product is actually more costly for her, given the imposed structure.

Gender Big Mac Index Intensified is where we actually have different prices posted for people based on gender, and we combine this occurrence with the BLS statistic on less earning potential.

See photo example below of my local hair salon.  Women pay $10-$19 (33%-38%) more for receiving a haircut.  This social practice is so common and omnipresent, that no one questions it.


If McDonald’s were to follow this cultural norm, then this means that the American woman’s $5.84 Big Mac will now cost her $7.42 to $7.66 ($4.79 base price + $1.05 differential pay increase + $1.58 to $1.82 gender-based price discrepancies).  Meanwhile, the American man is still paying just $4.79 for a Big Mac.  This means American women are expected to live in a society where they pay 60% more, simply for having different chromosomes.

Organizational Implications

You may already see the big picture here and how this all connects.  Imagine the employee who has worked his entire career at your organization.  Along the way, he and his wife gave birth to four girls.  Of the four girls, one is a single mom, another is lesbian, a third died prematurely, and the last one is a single “starving artist.”  NOTE: They are all women who are not relying on a man who can tend to the 60% price inflation.  Now it’s time for your employee to retire.  If he does not have to financially support five women, then let’s hope he has put enough away for his retirement to take care of himself, because the Gender Big Mac Index Intensified has demonstrated that it would be too costly for his daughters to cover his expenses, since goods/services already cost them more than half the price it costs John Doe.

Talent will go to those organizations which…

  • Practice true meritocracy;
  • Address unconscious and conscious bias;
  • Prize work/life balance;
  • Actively listen to employee needs.

Robble, robble.

Rossina Gil, MSOD, MAIS, completed the Executive Management Development Training Program at McDonald’s Corporation Hamburger University.  She is a Global Leadership and Organization Development Practitioner, and the founder of Corporate Looking Glass, LLC – a diverse consultancy of OD experts and strategic thinking partners.   We increase retention.  Visit

© Rossina Gil, 2015


Copenhagen is Openhagen


Copenhagen is spelled København in Danish.  (Note: They are NOT Dutch).  Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark, and its name means “Merchants Harbor.” The kingdom of Denmark was once large geographically, since it ruled Sweden, Norway, Estonia, St. Thomas, founded Normandy in France, and claimed parts of England and Ireland.  Today, it continues to rule Greenland and the Faroe Islands; and, despite its diminished size, it also continues to bear great influence on the world at large.

Denmark continues to appear in the Top 10 highest Quality of Life locations (see  Which begs the questions: Is the life/work you’re living one of high quality?  This is where corporations can shape its culture according to the same criteria and metrics used in these studies, to determine which cultures thrive, despite possibly having few resources.  The QOL Metrics used are the following:

  1. Political and Social Environment (Corporate Translation: Inclusion)
  2. Economic Environment (Corporate Translation: Transparent Meritocracy)
  3. Socio-Cultural Environment (Corporate Translation: Diversity)
  4. Medical and Health Considerations (Corporate Translation: Plenary Health Benefits)
  5. School and Education (Corporate Translation: Continuing Adult Education/Tuition Reimbursement)
  6. Public Services and Transportation (Corporate Examples: Campus bicycles, support for carpooling)
  7. Recreation (Corporate Examples: Happy Hour, Company Picnic, Teambuilding)
  8. Consumer Goods (Corporate Examples: Heavily subsidized or included perks company products/services)
  9. Housing (Corporate Examples: Heavily subsidized or included perk residences)
  10. Natural Environment (Corporate Examples: Virtual work and/or open space to incorporate nature, such as trees, plants, waterfalls/fountains, gardens)

Based on my latest visit to Denmark, one can see examples of the above practiced, and I offer just three specific examples below.

  1. Political and Social Environment. True Freedom of Speech without fear of reprise or retaliation is respected here to challenge Critical Thinking.  So much so, that from the Danes’ point of view, Americans are somewhat Hierarchical, because bosses ask for input/feedback and don’t seem to like what they hear (A Few Good Men clickable, Jack Nicholson); whereas, the Danes feel fairly comfortable telling even their bosses’ boss, “Keep working on it.  You’re on the right track.”  This social norm led to the newspaper Jyllands-Posten to print a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed, yet Danes continue to receive Muslims into their country, despite death threats made against the cartoonist, and the killings of innocent Danes – in country and abroad.

For the upcoming election for Prime Minister, candidate John Erik Wagner poses in the nude (with the exception of his cowboy hat and gun holster), with full exposure to his male member.  (This following photo has been edited as a courtesy to the American Puritanical heritage)


  1. Socio-Cultural Environment. The Danes have adapted to learning English as a way to stay internationally competitive. To have a “seat at the table,” Danes have no qualms about switching languages to communicate needs.  When I asked, “Bliver I ikke vrede når fremmede menneske taler til jer på Engelsk?” (Aren’t you angry when people/foreigners speak to you in English?), they would simply offer me a quizzical look as if to say, “Why would we?” and answer, “No.”  Meanwhile, countless Americans believe that those who come to the USA should already speak fluent English upon arrival; and, furthermore, suspect that when others speak another language, they are talking about you.  There is little to no mutual reciprocity made of learning a colleagues’ language in the USA.  The “Melting Pot” blends one way.
  1. Public Services and Transportation. 62% of Copenhageners use bicycles to commute – even the Queen cycles. Metro, bus, and train are abundant; and, retirees and children under 12 ride for free.  This eliminates the hiring question: Do you have reliable transportation?  Incidentally, Tesla (battery-energized) vehicles are competitive, since there is a 180% tax on gas-driven vehicles.

While Bill (a.k.a. William Shakespeare) aptly wrote, “Something is rotten in the state Denmark,” perhaps it is the attitude of those who do not practice sufficient Critical Thinking…those who judge without questioning the grounded logic for which philosopher Søren Kierkegård and so many other Danes have contributed to the world.

What thrives within your organization?


Rossina Gil, MSOD, MAIS, is a Danish-government certified Global Leadership and Organization Development Practitioner, and the founder of Corporate Looking Glass, LLC – a diverse consultancy of OD experts and strategic thinking partners.  We increase retention.  Visit

© Rossina Gil, 2015