Politically incorrect... is enlightening



Politically incorrect... is enlightening

Blog, 29 June 2015

Make a politically incorrect statement and you can lose job at the drop of a hat. Stick your neck out and you risk losing it. That’s what happened recently to British biochemist and Nobel Prize winner Sir Tim Hunt who made a joke about women in the laboratory. Ironically enough, he’s married to a professor in the same field! Practically the whole country came down on him like a ton of bricks because of a risqué joke which is, by definition, politically incorrect.

However, what’s far more troublesome for an organisation’s performance are the politically correct statements made by senior managers. Such remarks are often meaningless and almost always avoid the issue. The least damaging in this category is the euphemism, for instance, something very difficult is called a ‘challenge’. Things get problematic if remarks designed to obscure the truth result in necessary reforms being delayed.

The most recent and extreme politically correct statements are coming from the Greek prime minister, who is making proposals about cuts which, on paper, are supposed to generate additional income. These statements then pave the way for billions more euros in support.

An incidental, risqué joke does less harm than hiding behind socially and politically desirable views. Maes & Lunau greatly appreciates a properly reasoned and correct assessment of people and situations instead.


Mattijs Kropholler
Managing Partner
Maes & Lunau Executive Search
Amsteldijk 194
1079 LK  Amsterdam

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