2008 Dumbest Moments in Business – Laugh & Learn

Fortune’s annual list of 2008’s most laughable moves proves that, even in moments of crisis, stupidity lives on. From former Countrywide CEO’s accidental reply-all e-mail to reports of Steve Jobs’ death (he’s still alive), click through the gallery as Fortune picks the 21 dumbest moments in business for 2008. You won’t know whether to laugh or cry…..


Here is how to turn this list into an organizational learning intervention. (For more on organizational learning, study the works of Peter Senge).

Take each of these examples and turn them into a Lesson for your executives. Share it via e-mail, in the boardroom and face to face.

Organizational development is about enhancing executive leadership through coaching, communication & knowledge sharing.

Personally, I just laughed at Number 5-  Mozilo’s ‘Disgusting’ Reply-All

“Already under attack as the overpaid, over-tanned and over-zealous pioneer of subprime mortgages, former Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo doesn’t do himself any favors in May after reading a customer’s e-mailed plea for help with his home loan. Intending to forward the missive to a colleague, Mozilo instead hits “reply all” and sends a response calling the beleaguered homeowner’s request “unbelievable” and “disgusting.” Mozilo’s heartfelt reply makes its way onto the Internet — and [he] finds himself out of a job after Bank of America acquires Countrywide in July”

So now we have had slip of the tongue, now we have slip of the finger!

And, how easily can that happen. Years ago we used to say in corporate communication circles that the easiest way to communicate in any organization, was to label a document top secret, and leave it in the office photocopier. Within an hour, the information would be country and company wide.

Now we have e-mail, Skype, Twitter, sms and other tools to add to the flow…..

No wonder the Chinese have a saying: ”Water will always find a way”


Skeletons in closets will be revealed and unfortunately simple errors and dumb moments will be magnified!

And be published and it will be on the Web, where it will remain and haunt you for a long time to come.