Episode 134: 15th October 2020

Bob Iger, the business of funerals, emojis at work & The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

We seem to have all bases covered this week as we talk about Disney, Death and Dysfunction of Teams.

Making a start with a conversation about the business sector that is quite literally never go to die. This week we take a look at how the world of funerals has changed in recent years and how it looks set to evolve as time passes. Once upon a time a funeral was a fairly standard type of event, with limited options and a mere few  ‘acceptable’ formats to choose from but as time moves on, as cultural and religious views change and environmental matters come to the fore, it seems there is money to be made by offering wider choices and alternative options to mark the end of someone’s life and following a review of the industry by the CMA it seems that the business is going to have to become more transparent in it’s offerings although some of the work may be subject to delay due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

On a slightly lighter note we take some time to consider whether the use of the emoji in work correspondence is inappropriate or quite simply a way of humanising written communication which seems increasing to be abbreviated and streamlined. Whether you add a thumbs up to a text message,  wave to your colleagues in a Whatsapp group or post a laughing emoji on your Linked In profile there are certainly changes to the way we punctuate the positive and not everyone thinks it is a great idea.

In other news the Bank of England is asked to prepare for negative interest rates and IKEA once again shakes things up in the furniture world by offering to buy back furniture from customers and seem to be issuing generous returns on items of varying ages.

Our review section this week covers a book by Patrick Lencioni. The New York Times bestseller The Five Dysfunctions of a Team is told through Tracy’s favourite format, that of story. It is described as a Leadership Fable and uses the tale of Kathryn who has been promoted to explore and demonstrate the mechanics of ‘team’. This practical and easy to digest read gives us a model to work with and provides practical exercises that can be completed in order to get to grips with our own team dynamics.

Tracy on the other hand attended Aaron and Partners HR Lunch Club (virtually and without lunch provided, sadly). The event is one of a series of regular lunchtime learnings that the Chester based law firm delivers throughout the year with the focus, as you might expect, on on employment law. Their website is also a fantastic resource for employment related guidance as it hosts several free factsheets on the subject.

And finally, in the profile hot spot this week is the Executive Chairman of The Walt Disney Company, Robert (Bob) Allen Iger. Having spent 15yrs at CEO of the huge entertainment business Iger took on the role of Executive Chairman earlier this year because he didn’t want to be running the organisation any more and wanted to hand the reigns on to someone else whilst still being able to have involvement with the business on a day to day basis.

Tracy was rather smitten by Mr Iger  (look out Ernesto) and there are no shortage of video interviews to help get a sense of the man.Before working for Disney, Iger served as the President of ABC Television from 1994 to 1995, and as President/COO of Capital Cities/ABC, Inc.

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