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Stupid Company Rule: No YouTube


It's come to my attention that some firms are banning YouTube from their company servers. Since that's about the stupidest example of micromanagement I've ever heard, I'm going to do something about it. Specifically, I'm going to make an example of a guilty party, in this case Caspar Hobbs, CEO of the Mergermarket Group. Here's an open letter to the guy about this totally bonehead policy:

Dear Caspar:

I just got an email from one of your employees complaining that she can't see the YouTube postings on this blog. Apparently it's your company policy to disallow that service.

What in God's name are you thinking?

Is there a lot of crap on YouTube? Sure. Can it become a waste of time? Sure. Do some of the postings border on porn? Yup.

But here's the deal, my micromanaging friend -- if you can't get your people motivated to do their jobs without banning YouTube, they're just going to find other ways to waste it.

You see, Caspar, the problem ain't YouTube, it's just plain YOU. You obviously can't figure out how to get your employees motivated in a lousy market, and so you're borrowing a page from the Chinese government and censoring the Internet.

Apparently you are unaware that YouTube is the ultimate repository of free sales training videos and, indeed, of all kinds of business-oriented information.

Frankly, I find it incredible that ANYBODY would take you and your company seriously when you -- or the managers you've appointed to run your US division -- don't have a clue about how the Internet can help a business become more productive.

How can you possible understand mergers if you don't understand how business and businesspeople communicate? It's crazy.

So, lighten up on YouTube, dude. Frankly, with today's market for M&A, you've got bigger things to worry about than your employees watching a Jackass clip online.

Geoffrey James

P.S. (Feel free to reply - happy to post anything you have to say.)

Just so you know, I gave Mergermarket's head of PR an opportunity to deny that "no youtube" was their corporate policy. No response, so obviously the reader who wrote me originally was correct, or the firms PR group is clueless.

READERS: Got any other examples of egregious micromanagement? EMAIL ME! (Anonymity guaranteed.)