Thursday, March 02, 2006

Cover Your Ass

In the professional world, one of the most widely-practiced business principles is CYA – Cover Your Ass. When people are scared of being blamed for any decision at work, they cover their asses in a variety of ways. I am experiencing this CYA business first hand these days - by my boss and some colleagues of mine. You see, there’s a project I’m working on right now which everybody was fully aligned to. The initial results are coming out and some of them are freaking out because they’re thinking it might not work – that’s when you see CYA in action.

There are several ways people Cover Their Asses:
- When committing to a decision, they leave themselves an exit door: for example they would say I agree to this, but I’m not sure it will work. i.e. I agree but don’t really agree. This way if it works, they can celebrate and say I knew it would work all along. If not, they can still say I told you so.
- They can say the concept was great but you screwed up the execution.
- They can flatly lie and say I never agreed to this in the first place, when they did all along. These people avoid written documentation like the plague.

Don’t you think it’s pathetic what people will do for a paycheck at the end of the month?