DID I REALLY WANT TO BE AN 'ENRON PERSON'?

Thoughout my career in human resources, I've had more than one opportunity to experience groupthink and its consequences. While working at Enron in the high-flying late 1990s, I found the corporate culture dazzling, and fitting in was crucial to success. The employee who best conformed to the corporate vision and values was touted as an "Enron person." Additionally, after Enron was dubbed by Fortune magazine as "the most innovative" business of its type, there was constant pressure for departments to keep pushing for the "bleeding" edge that pushes people up to their limits. Human resources, where I worked, was no exception.

Shortly after I was hired, a management consulting firm was engaged to redesign workflow processes. This project required the staff to invest a substantial amount of time. Two months passed, and I began to question the value of the project. Deep down, I felt it was a waste of time. However, I didn't want to voice my opinion because I was a new employee and it was important to be a team player. Plus, I reasoned, our department head knew more than I about the business of being innovative.

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