The Kikwit handshake and culture

(IMAGE: Metro.co.uk)

Some trivia from the Ebola outbreak in 1995:

Outbreaks and the news they create also give the public a chance to see culture being created and transmitted because people invent behaviours and management strategies when they encounter new diseases. One small example of this occurred during the early days of the Ebola virus outbreak in Kitwit, Uganda. Villagers who were deathly afraid of contamination began to stop shaking hands and to start touching elbows in greeting, a gesture that became known as the ‘Kitwit handshake’… Shaking hands in greeting became briefly supplanted by touching elbows as a polite way to greet one another without passing the pathogen” (96).

— In Epidemiology and Culture by James A. Trostle (2005)

I thought I’d share this because of the behaviours manifested in:

  1. The public responses thus far – boomer-tips, panic-buying after the raising of the DORSCON risk, the response to the panic-buying itself, etc.; and
  2. Me, because of my own responses to boomer-tips and hand-shaking.

Stuff you must read today (Sun, 1 Apr 2018) – The Hiring Edition (Part I)

  • Adam Grant On Interviewing to Hire Trailblazers, Nonconformists and Originals | First Round Review
    “By default, companies are built in the image of their founders, which is why it’s vital to proactively introduce diversity of thought… ‘What happens when startups get successful and grow is that they become more and more vulnerable to the attraction-selection-attrition cycle, where people of the same stripes are increasingly drawn to the organization, chosen by it and retained at it. The way to combat that homogeneity creep is to proactively infuse the culture with originals, who have the will and skill to think differently'”.
  • How to Hire | eShares
    Four principles and six heuristics on hiring. Some of them are counter-intuitive, and all of them turn what we think we know about hiring on its head.
  • Your Company’s Culture is Who You Hire, Fire, & Promote | @DrSepah
    The writer presents a powerful Performance Value Matrix based on the following with the following categories and rules: Incompetent Assholes (Fire Fast); Competent Assholes (Remediate or Separate); Incompetent Nice Guys (Manage or Move); Competent and Outstanding Nice Guys (Praise and Raise).

    The Performance-Values Matrix – Performance behaviour against values-congruent behaviour by Dr Cameron Sepah

  • The No Asshole Rule: Part 1 | HuffPost
    There are myriad costs to keeping employees who engage in demeaning behaviour in an organisation: From how detrimental they are to the mental and physical health of their colleagues, to the overall undermining of learning and organisational effectiveness.
  • Why I Wrote The No Asshole Rule | Harvard Business Review
    “My father always told me to avoid assholes at all costs, no matter how rich or powerful they might be, because I would catch their nastiness and impose it on others. I learned, as an organizational psychologist, that his advice is supported by research on ’emotional contagion’: if you work for a jerk, odds are you will become one”.

Stuff you must read today (Sat, 4 Mar 2017) – The Leadership and Management Edition