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露西

Core values make me want to exit the plane. Should I?
要不要下飞机?

飞机因故障返航,我该下飞机吗?

I am seated in an aircraft heading back to the terminal. We had been speeding down the runway when the pilot slammed on the brakes and aborted take-off. He told us a warning light had gone off and he had to contact maintenance and see what needed to be done. He then educated us on the airline’s core values, concluding with the boast that the most important is passenger safety.

我正坐在一架正掉头返回停机坪的飞机里。方才,我们正沿着跑道加速时,飞行员突然来了个急刹,中止了起飞。他告诉我们,有一个警示灯灭了,他必须联络维修人员,看需要做些什么。他紧接着就开始向我们宣扬这家航空公司的核心价值,他用自豪的口吻总结道,最重要的是旅客安全。

I am not encouraged; my years of experience with corporate values have taught me they bear little relevance to practice. Should I get off the plane?

我一点也没有觉得受到鼓舞。以我对企业价值的多年经验,我认为企业价值与实践几乎完全脱节。我应该下飞机吗?

Finance director, male, 54

财务总监,男,54岁

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Lucy’s answer

露西的回答

As there is no way in hell that they would let you get off and as aeroplanes almost never crash, I am going to ignore your direct question. And as you wrote this two weeks ago, and as I haven’t heard anything about a finance director dying in an air crash, I’m guessing the story had a happy ending.

由于他们根本不可能放你下飞机,而且飞机几乎永远都不会坠毁,所以我会忽略你的直接问题。而且你是在两周前写的这封信,而这段时间内我也没听说有哪位财务总监死于空难,我猜想故事应该有了一个圆满的结局。

Instead, I’m taking the question to be whether one should feel alarmed when companies start reciting their values. Normally, the answer is yes. A company that forces employees to tell customers that it is dedicated to creativity and life-long learning is as absurd as a person who, on meeting another for the first time, says: “I’m Lucy. I’m honest and creative and really like other people.” There is never any point asserting such things. The only test is in the doing.

我把你的问题理解为:当企业开始背诵所谓的企业价值时,人们应不应该感到警惕?一般情况下答案是肯定的。如果一家公司逼迫员工告诉顾客,本公司秉承创造精神、笃信终身学习,那简直和一个人第一次和别人见面时就说:“我叫露西,为人诚实,有创造力,喜欢与人相处”一样滑稽。这种事情自吹自擂根本没有意义,唯一的检验标准在于实际表现。

Any declaration of values is made all the more dismal because the values themselves are so banal. You could say safety is not banal, but then it is not really a value at all. To be told that an airline values safety in the same breath as being told it values, say, curiosity or diversity, is the opposite of reassuring.

任何有关价值观的宣言,都会因为那些价值观本身乏善可陈而越发显得沉闷。你可能会说,安全并不是乏善可陈的,但安全也根本不算是一种价值观。刚说完一家航空公司重视安全,就说它也重视好奇心或多样性,完全起不到让人放心的作用。

However, there is something about this particular situation that sets it apart from most contact that occurs between employee and customer. This is because you, the hapless passenger, are being held captive for what is likely to be – if my experience is anything to go by – a frustratingly long time.

然而,你这种情况有一点与其它大多数员工向顾客吹嘘废话的情况不同。这是因为——如果我的经验值得参考的话——你这个不幸的旅客被困在机舱里的时间很可能长得让人抓狂。

Some of the others around you may be nervous and it is the job of the pilot to show some leadership by saying a few words. So the poor chap has no choice but to fill the cabin with soothing patter.

你周围的一些乘客会很紧张,而说几句话显示领导力也是飞行员的职责所在。所以这个可怜的伙计别无选择,只能说些安慰人的空话。

This is where the values can come in handy. You don’t mention what airline you were flying on. But if it was, say, Delta, there is enough about its values on the website to give the pilot something to talk about for many hours.

企业价值这时候就能派上用场了。你没有提你坐的是哪家航空公司的飞机,但比方说,如果是达美航空(Delta),它们网站上罗列的那些价值观,就足够飞行员讲上几个小时了。

The US airline has an entire document called “Rules of the Road”, including the insight that “the ‘how’ is just as important as the ‘what’” and the key value is “Develop and leverage deep customer insights”.

这家美国航空公司有整整一份文件,叫做《航道规则》(Rules of the Road),里面的高见包括:“手段”与“目的”一样重要,公司的核心价值是“发展并深入了解客户洞见”。

After a while you would surely find it so boringly predictable that you would have nodded off, and before you knew it the problem would have been solved and the aircraft cleared for take-off.

用不了多久,你肯定就会觉得这些话字字句句都如你预料般枯燥,于是开始打盹。你还没醒过神来,问题可能就已经解决了,飞机也可以起飞了。

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Your advice

您的建议

They are liars

他们都是骗子

Any company that claims its most important corporate value is passenger safety is lying. If that were true, it would not fly – sitting in the terminal drinking coffee must be safer than doing

任何号称最重要的企业价值是旅客安全的公司,都是骗子。如果那是实话,它就不该起飞,坐在航站楼里喝咖啡,肯定比在3万英尺高空中的铝筒子里喝咖啡安全得多。

it at 30,000ft in an aluminium tube.

工程师、出庭律师,男

Engineer and barrister, male

要一些饮料

Take the drinks

对于机组人员的话,都要打上几个折扣再听。希望他们会马上给你拿一份免费的饮品。你正在返回航站楼,所以你很可能要改签其它航班。希望你是“白金会员”,否则就只能跟背包客们混在一起碰运气了。拖到明天,给你任何一家航空公司的任何一个航班,你都会乐意的。

Take all messages from the crew with a big pinch of salt, and hope they will soon arrive with a free drink. You are heading for the terminal, so probably will be rebooked on to another flight. I hope you are in “Platinum Elite”, otherwise you will have to take your chances with the backpackers. By tomorrow you will be glad of any flight out, on any airline.

匿名,男

Anon, male

要重视价值

Value the values

企业价值其实就在于员工的实际表现。CEO面临的挑战中有一项就是,如何确保数千名员工能够充分理解良好的企业价值并身体力行。不要仅仅因为有人在这方面犯了贻笑大方的错误,就对宣传企业价值的做法大加诋毁。

Corporate values are the actual practices of employees. One of the challenges to a CEO is how to make thousands of employees live and breathe good corporate values. Do not denigrate statements of corporate values just because some people get

退休的财务总监,男,64岁

it laughably wrong.

现在就跳吧!

Retired FD, male, 64

当然要下飞机!别坐明知刚刚出过故障的飞机。没有什么会议比安全更重要。

Jump now

总经理,银行家,女

Hell yes, get off the plane. Avoid flying on an aeroplane with a known history of immediate malfunction. No meeting on the other side can be that important.

同情飞行员

MD, banker, female

飞行员只是做了他该做的事。你应该同情他,因为和其它大多数场合一样,他也是迫不得已才罗罗嗦嗦地打了一些官腔。

Pity the pilot

匿名

The pilot reacted exactly as he should. You should just feel sorry for him as he, like most everywhere, is imposed upon to spout corporate claptrap.

你是个小孩子吗?

Anon

你要是为我工作,却问出这种问题来,恐怕你已经失业了。你是个三岁的小孩子吗?如果连这么基本的决定自己都做不了主,你就不配做更重大的决定。

Are you a child?

投机商,男

If you asked a question like this and worked for me you’d be out of a job. Are you three? If you

服从指挥

can’t make such an elementary decision you have no business making larger ones.

飞行员不会用“企业价值”开飞机的。既然大家都在同一条船上,而他更了解情况,那他干什么我就会干什么。

Speculator, male

匿名,男

Follow the leader

译者/王柯伦

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