Currently viewing the tag: "big business"

Having climbed the ranks in her finance company to CFO quickly and efficiently, Marin understands there were those who viewed her with contempt. Names whispered behind her back as she chaired meetings and led the company through mergers and acquisitions, one success following another. She worked hard for her place in the world. Others’ jealousies or opinions are not her problem, and she will not allow them to constrain her. She knows plenty of women whose self-esteem is based on the estimations of others. They choose the clothes that are in fashion, even if they don’t suit their taste. They let their colleagues define the boundaries of their careers. Live their lives according to strangers’ rules. Marin congratulates herself for being above the rest. For standing in a place of her own making, for earning her success and creating her perfect life. –Sejal Badani, Trail of Broken Wings

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about a powerful, self-made woman.

Journaling Prompt: How do you measure success?

Art Prompt: Powerful woman

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about a powerful woman and how she gained her power.

Photo Credit: Sam Churchill on Flickr

Green Whistle IMG_4915

Many whistleblowers come undone after they launch their fights. They have trouble keeping their jobs, their marriages, their sobriety. Even friends who are sympathetic often see them as pains in the ass. They are forever marked by a scarlet “W.” And while whistleblowers naturally start off more skeptical than the average, the experience pushes some into often justifiable paranoia. If you want to know why whistleblowers can seem a little crazy, it’s because anybody who is not a little bit crazy would back away from the ordeal of confronting a corporate behemoth or grinding government bureaucracy. –Jesse Eisinger

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about a whistleblower.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel about whistleblowers? Would you ever do it? If so, under what circumstances?

Art Prompt: Whistleblower

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about a famous whistleblower and what happened after he/she came forward.

Photo Credit: Steven Depolo on Flickr

Between physician databases, incentive-happy sales reps, and an aggressive blitz package of promotional ephemera, Purdue’s multifaceted marketing campaign pushed OxyContin out of the niche offices of oncologists and pain specialists and into the primary care bazaar, where prescriptions for the drug could be handed out to millions upon millions of Americans. The most scathing irony is that what allowed OxyContin to reach so many households and communities was the claim that it wasn’t dangerous. –Poison Pill: How the American opiate epidemic was started by one pharmaceutical company by Mike Mariani

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about an epidemic that is started by a big business for profit.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel about pharmaceutical companies and their advertising to consumers?

Art Prompt: Pain killer epidemic

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a true story about how big business has manipulated the public for profit.

Photo Credit: dugg simpson  on Flickr

A 10-year EFSA controversy demonstration

A duo of psychologists in Germany struggled to identify the particulars of “a corrupt organizational culture in terms of its underlying assumptions, values, and norms.” But, writing in the Journal of Business Ethics this year, they found generally that “corrupt organizations perceive themselves to fight in a war, which leads to their taken-for-granted assumption that ‘the end justifies the means.’” Wartime attitudes degrade the traditional values of the members of the group, and they start to develop rationalizations and something the authors call “ethical blindness.” Corrupt organizations also tend to protect the “social cocoon” they’ve built up by harshly punishing those members of the group who aren’t willing to join in the rule-breaking. -Lauren Kirchner

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story where the conflict arises from ethical blindness.

Journaling Prompt: Write about some news you’ve read or heard recently involving corrupt corporations and how you reacted to it.

Art Prompt: Corrupt corporations

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell  your audience about how the phenomenon of ethical blindness affects our society.

Photo Credit: Corporate Europe Observatory on Flickr

Cubicle Farm, Louisville, KY, 2004

According to Parkinson’s Law, bureaucracies tend to expand for two main reasons: first, that bureaucrats naturally make extra work for each other, and second, that bureaucrats like to increase the number of people they are in charge of. –C. Northcote Parkinson’s Parkinson’s Law by Leo Gough

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write about a worker inside a crazy bureaucracy.

Journaling Prompt: Write about your personal experience with bureaucracies, whether it’s as an employee or as a customer.

Art Prompt: Expanding bureaucracy

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: prompt here

Photo Credit: silverfuture on Flickr

Congress! do the right thing

New findings from researchers at Boston College and Northwestern University show that the more cohesive a group appears — be it a corporation, political party, governmental entity, pro sports team or other organization — the more likely it is that people will hold its members less responsible for their own individual actions. The study, published in the current issue of the journal Psychological Science, sheds light on why people tend to address hostility toward large companies or other collectives, while still treating members of those groups as unique individuals…

Similarly, a strong brand image, generally considered to be a corporate or organizational asset, could contribute to consumers’ perception of single-mindedness, meaning the brand would be more likely to be held accountable for its employees’ or members’ actions. –Science Daily

Writing Prompt: Write a scene or story about how a group uses this tendency to get away with something illegal.

Journaling Prompt: Write about your feelings about corporate misbehavior.

Art Prompt: Group Thingk

Photo Credit: americans4financialreform on Flickr


“For a long time we’ve asked ourselves, ‘How come smart, rational people carry out short-term schemes that in the long-term undoubtedly are going to sink them?'” says author Ramy Elitzur, who holds the Edward J. Kernaghan Professorship in Financial Analysis and is an associate professor of accounting.

“The answer is — we’re not rational. We’re rational only in a limited sense.”

The study bases its findings on a model of the manager-owner relationship over time. The model is also noteworthy for combining principles of game theory — used to predict strategic behaviour — with the idea of bounded rationality — that our decisions are always made within the limits of available time, information, and the human capacity to analyze it. –Science Daily

Writing Prompt: Write a story or scene about someone who carries out a scheme doomed to fail.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when you misjudged a situation.

Art Prompt: Scheming

Nonfiction / Speech Writing Prompt: Write about a scheme that suckered in a lot of people and what we can learn by studying it.

Photo Credit: Big C Harvey on Flickr

Red Jade – Girl – Aveda Eco Fashion Week – Day 1 – Feb 23 11 – Vancouver

Children are becoming more sophisticated about image at younger and younger ages.
…even very young children have a great deal of knowledge about the clothing retail sector and they know exactly which shops will sell the kind of clothing they want.

[Researchers] also found a strong association between family culture and the value children placed on brands and logos, citing two cases, ‘Robert’ and ‘Hayley’ (not their real names).

Robert came from a family where brands and designer fashions were valued, and he ‘name-dropped’ constantly about the brands of his clothes. Hayley, on the other hand, came from a family with little disposable income, where brands and logos were of so little importance that she had difficulty in understanding what the terms meant.

Parents, however, do not have it all their own way. Dr Pilcher commented: “There are a variety of fashion influences on children and you can’t ignore the pressures from their peer groups, especially friends of the same sex, and their ideas of what is cool.”

A further influence on young children is the celebrity culture, which they may wish to copy or they may reject. The skimpy clothing of singers Beyoncé and Kylie were not always admired by girls, who thought it was rude to show so much bare skin…

Children who do not participate in that culture, however, can be isolated from their peers in a form of social exclusion. This, Dr Pilcher says, is something to be borne in mind by teachers when considering school uniform policies and by parents doing battle with their children on the shop floor. –Science Daily

Writing Prompt: Write a scene about a young child shopping for clothes.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a shopping trip for clothing from your own childhood. If you have children, compare it to a shopping trip with them.

Art Prompt: Children’s fashion

Photo Credit: Jason Hargrove on Flickr


“Go big or go home.” “No risk, no gain.” Google quotations about the benefits of taking risks and you’ll find a boatload. But what’s the downside?

…overconfidence frequently brings rewards, as long as spoils of conflict are sufficiently large compared with the costs of competing for them. In contrast, people with unbiased, accurate perceptions usually fare worse.

The implications are that, over a long period of time the evolutionary principal of natural selection is likely to have favored a bias towards overconfidence. Therefore people with the mentality of someone like boxer Mohammad Ali would have left more descendents than those with the mindset of film maker Woody Allen.
The evolutionary model also showed that overconfidence becomes greatest in the face of high levels of uncertainty and risk. When we face unfamiliar enemies or new technologies, overconfidence becomes an even better strategy.

Dr Dominic Johnson, reader in Politics and International Relations at the University: ‘The model shows that overconfidence can plausibly evolve in wide range of environments, as well as the situations in which it will fail. The question now is how to channel human overconfidence so we can exploit its benefits while avoiding occasional disasters.’ –Science Daily

Writing Prompt: Write a scene where the character takes a big risk with two different outcomes – one where the risk pays off and one where the risk leads to massive failure.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when you took a big risk.

Art Prompt: Overconfidence

Nonfiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell a humorous story of how overconfidence got you into trouble.

Photo Credit: John C Bullas BSc MSc PhD MCIHT MIAT on Flickr