Arrested Development Business Ethics
Anyong! I am a huge fan of Arrested Development and couldn’t be more excited for this coming weekend and the premiere of season four, exclusively on Netflix (preview here). The offbeat comedy struggled to survive during its three-season run on Fox from 2003 to 2006. Since its cancellation, the number of viewers has increased significantly, calling for a fourth and final season. Finally, we can stop moping around to the tune of “Christmas Time is Here” and gain some closure from a brilliant comedy that was canceled far too soon.
What have we learned from the Bluth family, as it relates to the business environment? I think the list of things we have learned not to do is substantially larger. So, below is a list of things to do and not to do while at work.
Business Do’s and Don’ts
Speak clearly and not in code. Don’t assume that your coworkers are perfectly in tune with your brainwaves and now your every thought. When communicating, be clear and concise. In one of the earliest episodes, Michael Bluth was speaking to his father, George, asking him where the extra money was. George always replied with “There’s always money in the banana stand.” For those of you unfamiliar with AD, the banana stand sells frozen bananas dipped in chocolate. Michael interpreted George’s answer to mean that the banana stand will always be a profitable source of income. Now, what George mean was far more simple—there was actually money in the walls of the banana stand. In a stunt to stick it to his dad, Michael burned the banana stand to the ground . . . and the thousands of dollars in the walls burned with it.
Don’t teach coworkers a lesson, even if they deserve it. Also, make sure to leave notes for people.
Admit when you have made a mistake and need some help. It is much worse to try to fix alone, thus burying yourself further.
In an embarrassing incident a few weeks ago, I learned to never quote Tobias Funke at work (or anywhere, for that matter). I would put a video clip here but won’t out of fear of being fired for being outrageously inappropriate at work or offending anyone that reads this post. Just note, that if you ask a non-AD fan, “Do these effectively hide my thunder?” you may soon be hearing from your HR department.
Don’t act like you are above anyone at work. Your coworkers are teammates and want to be treated as equals. Also, don’t wear suits that range from $3600 to $6500.
Be sensitive and monitor what you say at work before you make fun of somebody’s dead wife.
Don’t touch anyone at work. Anything more than a handshake can get you into so much trouble! At work it is best to keep everything as professional as possible. No touching!
Don’t make seemingly creative job titles that no one will understand. There are a lot of strange job titles out there like SEO emperor, sandwich artist or social media trailblazer. The traditional titles are easy to understand, look great on business cards and will not get you arrested.
Kindly greet all those you see while in the workplace. Creating an enjoyable work environment is everyone’s job. So work hard to make others feel appreciated and respected.
Have a good lawyer. Why should you go to jail for a crime that someone else noticed?
Don’t have someone do work you should be doing yourself. Give credit where it is due.
Be respectful of other cultures and people. Each person and his or her heritage are unique, so don’t let stereotypes influence your opinion of someone.
Make sure that your company has a blog that is updated regularly! Regularly updating your blog will make search engines come to your site on a more frequent basis.