COMPANY CULTURE

How Much BS Goes on in Your Company? Take the Quiz

Finally: a way to measure how much bureaucracy and distraction might be holding your company back.
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All companies have a little BS that employees must cut through to get things done.  Some companies, however, have a lot more BS than others. Wonder how your workplace stacks up?

Wonder no more. Take a quiz based on my new book "Business Without the Bullsh*t." Instructions:

  1. Take the QUIZ by clicking on this link.
  2. Match your result to the explanations below.

Minimal BS

Your company and the people who work within it tend to be straightforward and direct. Hypocrites and bureaucrats aren't made welcome; if one accidentally joins the team, he or she must either quickly evolve or leave. You approach problems honestly and without preconceptions, and waste little time on corporate politics.

Small companies and startups often fall into this category.

What to do: Your challenge is to keep your highly-functioning company culture intact as you grow, which you probably will, since you're relatively unfettered. Avoid the temptation to hire "experienced managers" whose experience may be mostly a talent for playing corporate politics.

Moderate BS

Your company and the people who work within it pay a "BS tax" for everything that gets done.  Time is often spent figuring out how to get decisions made rather than decision-making. You must deal with co-workers (you know who they are) who've got a tendency to bloviate.  Still, things get done and, everything considered, it's tolerable if not always pleasant.

Medium-sized companies tend to fall into this category.

What to do: Your challenge is to spread the awareness of what's BS and what's not. Since the people you work with really do want to do the right thing, this awareness will gradually lead to changes in behavior that will make your organization "cleaner" and therefore better able to execute.

Massive BS

Your company is so weighed down with BS that it's very hard to get things done. Everything--project approvals to catering the holiday party--is political.  People from the C-levels to admins feel the need to hedge and tell half-truths in order to survive.  Yes, things get done, but it's always painful and--let's face it--you often wish you were working someplace else.

Most large companies fall into this category.

What to do: Your challenge, frankly, is either 1) to find work someplace else or 2) become a better bullsh*tter than your co-workers (and managers if you have them).  If you take path No. 1, start networking outside the firm like crazy because that's the only way to distance yourself from the effluvia of having worked in a BS-rich environment.

If you take path No. 2, you're on your own because that's not my field of expertise.

Want to clear out the BS? Read Business Without the Bullsh*t.

IMAGE: Shutterstock
Last updated: May 2, 2014

GEOFFREY JAMES | Columnist

Geoffrey James is an author, speaker, and award-winning blogger. Originally a system architect, brand manager, and industry analyst inside two Fortune 100 companies, he's interviewed over a thousand successful executives, managers, entrepreneurs, and gurus to discover how business really works. His most recent book is Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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