Morality in Learning Organisations LO18095

Scott Simmerman (
Wed, 13 May 1998 19:23:49 -0400

Replying to LO18072 --

Funny, I hadn't intended to dialog much on this but merely post a factoid.

But Vincent Amanor-Boadu, who I have not talked with in a good while,
posted an interesting thought in Morality in Learning Organisations

He said, in part,

>May be it is a service we
>should encourage for our employees to win their loyalty. I read recently
>somewhere that consulting firms are offering their employees such services
>as dry cleaning pick ups, flowers for Mother's day and birthday presents
>shopping to ensure that these employees did not waver in their work and
>necessary private duties.

... and went on to talk about adding balance to their lives.

It reminded me of Lou Kwiker, the president of The Wherehouse when I was
Senior VP.

Lou did some really great things and I still think positively about his
leadership even though we didn't end on a good note.

One of the things that people complained about was that Lou had Becky, his
very efficient secretary, do things for him like have his car washed, pick
up his laundry, and do those kinds of errands in addition to her work in
organizing his office.

He explained it to me very simply - that by her doing this work, it freed
him up to devote more time to the business at hand. She didn't mind since
it got her out of the office and he truly appreciated these efforts. It
made sense - we all worked lots of hours and the more the better, it

When I signed on, things were in dire straits and Lou was newly hired.
Vendors would give us no credit, the stock was at 1 7/8 and going nowhere,

Over the course of less than 3 years, our involved and engaged management
team made significant changes and we took the stock upwards of 30!

Was his behavior unethical? Were Becky's efforts an employee benefit to
him? Was it cost effective from a company standpoint? We were certainly
loyal, owners of the company (401K - ESOP all in the company's stock).

I think that, as Vincent says, these are tough issues to resolve. A desk is a
dangerous place from which to view the world.

For the FUN of It!

Scott Simmerman


Scott Simmerman <>

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