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Why Now?

All through the week I text myself with the thoughts in my head so I don't lose them. So when it comes time to write MWM I often go back to these text messages to consider if I want to expand any of these more fully in this week's blog.

My brain is pretty busy so there is no shortage of thoughts there to consider. As I find myself, at what is now afternoon on the west coast and trying to complete MWM before Monday is actually over, I continue to swirl back to this morning's tale of two cable TV news hosts.

Tucker Carlson (Fox) and Don Lemon (CNN) are both out of a job today.

I want to focus on Fox News and Carlson. They have not just embraced but have reveled in misogyny, racism, trans/homophobia, and sexism. Night after night, Carlson has provided not only the soil - but the nutrients, water, and sunshine - for which this culture thrives. He has also consistently been the highest rated host on Fox News.

That has made a lot of money for Fox. In a 2020 Forbes article it was reported that Carlson's show generates ~16 percent of Fox news' $1B in ad revenue. Which is why they have stuck with him, encouraged him to continue his rhetoric, and fed the public information that has now been established as a complete lie (and known to Carlson as such).

And, that is why Carlson (despite his text message outrage revealed in the Dominion lawsuit), stuck with Fox. Because Carlson also got filthy rich doing this.

I know, I know. This was easy pickings. There is nothing groundbreaking about Fox News having serious culture issues. So why am I talking about? Because, sometimes an extreme and obvious example can be the starting point for taking a look at our own problems.

Because the question to ask is: Why now? Why has Fox decided to let go of Carlson now? I am going to go on a limb and say money and ego. Money because Fox shares slid ~10% after the announcement of the Dominion settlement. And ego, because Fox execs draw the line at Carlson's arrogance and vitriol when it is directed at them. Money and ego are dominant values that drive behaviors and norms in Fox's culture.

Remember, culture is the collective attitude, values, behaviors, and norms of an organization. An inclusive culture is the collective attitude, values, behaviors, and norms that honor the worth and value of every person.

And that is the takeaway for all of us today. The answer to "why now?" - why my organization / community has decided to no longer accept certain behaviors or actions - is the tl:dr on your culture. That answer is the collective attitude, values, behaviors, and norms of your organization.

What is your organization or community's "why now?" The answer to that is the answer to your culture. Are you ok with with what that answer is?



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