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The Cause of Plane Crashes

5263907_thl What do you think is the number one cause of plane crashes?  Many people answer birds, lack of sleep, weather and other reasons.  Pilot error is the macro answer.

In his book, Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell gives a mirco answer for plane crashes - the PDI (Power Distance Index) rating.  The PDI was created by a Dutch psychologist, Geert Hofestede.  PDI is one of "Hofstede's Dimensions", a paradigm used in the world of psychology. The PDI is concerned with attitudes toward hierarchy.

Gladwell points out in several plane crash examples how PDI was strongly correlated to the cause of these crashes.  Simply stated it was the fear of questioning authority that led to these fatal crashes.

What is the PDI in your company's culture?  If you think is does not matter, then think of those who died on these plane crashes.  Those passengers counted on the crew in the cockpit to safely fly them to their destination.  Similarly, employees count on the company for a pay check, benefits, education and social interaction.

How easily do your employees question authority in your organization?  Their questions and the answers to them may very well be a silver bullet waiting to kill your organization or it may be the saving grace for your organization.  Create the culture and take the time to hear the questions and answers of your employees before you experience a fatal crash.


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