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Best use of QED ever?

by Greg Krehbiel on 8 August 2017

QED means “what was to be demonstrated,” or, more colloquially, “yeah, you just proved my point.” Google was practically begging for this.

Will Google suffer any consequences from this craziness? (In case you haven’t heard, Google fired the author of a memo that criticized their gender and diversity policies. If you want to read the memo itself, it’s available here — diversitymemo.com.)

2017-08-08  »  Greg Krehbiel

Talkback x 5

  1. Ken Crawford
    8 August 2017 @ 9:51 am

    What I find most troubling is that Google’s motivation is not to do what it thinks is right, but to deal with the media uproar. From my understanding, the memo was around for a couple weeks internally and nothing was done. It hits the press and within days he’s fired.

  2. Greg Krehbiel Greg Krehbiel
    8 August 2017 @ 10:18 am

    It will be interesting how it plays out. I just recently purchased a google product. I might decide to return it, just to poke a very small finger in their eye.

  3. William
    8 August 2017 @ 2:24 pm

    Having first-hand knowledge of Google’s culture, I concur with some of the findings of the author. For all the supposed value for diversity, if one doesn’t “fit” the mold, they will find it somewhat challenging to work there (despite it generally being a fascinating environment). It’s indeed ironic that the individual is fired for expressing a “diverse” point of view.

    That said, despite the accuracy of some elements the author’s memo, it doesn’t negate that there are also elements of “isms” that operate within Google’s culture and create legitimate and possibly illegal biases. The trick is to examine all factors and create a balanced organizational strategy that addresses those dynamics without creating additional unintended bias.

    Interestingly enough, people quickly polarize and assume it’s either “this” or “that” when it could actually be both (what the author proposes AND other biases at play). I’d like to understand more about the specifics. For instance, how was this memo disseminated or addressed within the company before it became public. If the employee followed appropriate protocol, it should have been welcomed. Yet, if the author introduced it in a manner that violated company policies or created undue disruption, that may have forced the hand of management to act. I suspect some aspects of Google’s actions were defensive. They are facing heat from the feds on their gender workforce distribution. So, to allow this type of perspective to go unchallenged publicly, might play into a narrative that could be legally problematic.

    Overall (based on the limited info available), Google may have jumped the shark on this one. If the employee indeed broke company policy in the way he expressed his opinion, some form of discipline may have been warranted. Yet, if this was his only offense, it seems to be an overreaction to fire him. By doing so, they inadvertently reinforced that they are “intolerant” of diverse thought. It will be interesting to see how this case develops. It could potentially establish precedence for future HR practices.

  4. Greg Krehbiel Greg Krehbiel
    8 August 2017 @ 2:51 pm

    You raise some good points.

    I have some limited experience with Google culture. Less than you, I’m sure. But my experience made it quite clear that Google has a very involved hiring process to make sure people are a good fit for their corporate culture. It didn’t sound to me as if they wanted “diversity.” At least not on certain things.

    And that, of course, is the key. When people talk about “diversity” they usually only have a few things in mind. Universities want diversity in skin color, but not in political viewpoints, for example.

  5. William
    8 August 2017 @ 4:32 pm

    Indeed, Google’s selection process is highly selective and designed to identify those who have a strong “fit” with corporate culture…to the point they employ those who’s entire job is to design, evaluate and revise interview questions.

    A common misperception is that “diversity” is restricted to “race and gender”. It’s not inappropriate to focus on those elements, as necessary, but it’s significantly broader. Some define and apply the concept better than others. As well, there’s sometimes a huge disparity between what’s espoused in an organization’s operating philosophy and what actually happens in daily practices. The organization may indeed have the right focus but those within may choose to implement it in a way that’s not representative of the designated intent.

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