All posts by bizcll001

“Large IT Governance Committee” hack


In an effort to reduce tool license fees, the IT governance committee is not only hounding developers with endless surveys, the department is threatening developers that their tools will be removed if surveys are not promptly being responded to.

The tension:

The tone of the emails is one of coercion. A similar tone is used while dealing with 2 year olds: “If you do not play nicely you are a bad boy, and your toy will be removed.”

How Frank exposes the tension:

One guy (lets call him Frank) in a team took offense at the emails, responding with

“Dear IT Governance Team, 

I certainly hope you will not cut the access to my tool independent if I answer the survey or not. Please note when I read this I feel someone has coerced me.

Thank you,


How Frank exposes the crack:

One would think that the threatening emails would stop, however they continued, targeting Frank in particular (and yes, including the red font and underlined text.)

“Warning Frank!

If you DO NOT respond to this survey we will assume that you do not need access to a tool of this type.  A future automated  client software check will remove unregistered instances of these tools.


REMEMBER: If you DO NOT respond to the survey it will be assumed that you do not need any database tools.


R&D IT Governance Team”

The art:  

Our hero Frank responded with a “copy-all” email to the IT Governance team, the entire development staff (2,000+)  initiating a barrage of similar “code emails” back to the IT Governance Team eventually causing the surveys to stop:

From: Frank
Sent: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 10:05 AM
To: IT Governance committee
cc: All
Subject: RE: REMINDER: R&D IS Database Tool Survey


cat “
boolean hasbeenagoodboy = hasCompletedSurvey(me);
boolean needsqltool = hasSqlToolInstalled(me);
int i_am_ok=0;
int no_more_sql_4me=1


if (NOT hasbeenagoodboy AND needsqltool) then
if (NOT hasbeenagoodboy) then


print ‘WARNING !  says you will be sorry!’
delete(sqltool, me);

| translate style=“optional”

int i_am_ok=0;
boolean needsqltool = hasSqlToolInstalled(me);
if (needsqltool) then
  print ‘thanks’


The result:  

As the development staff was cc’d, this initiate a barrage of similar “code emails” back to the IT Governance Team eventually causing the surveys to cease.

This post has been anonymously submitted.

Hack the hack challenge

To launch this site with a degree of humor and art, Stefan and I would like to offer a Kindle Fire as a challenge to all of the business culture hackers out there.

Hack Queen or Hack King will be announced the last week of September.

Specifically the challenge his this: Can your business culture hack top this hack? Can you think of a business culture hack that changes behaviors so drastically? As you try and top this hack, keep in mind the motivators which must be teased with any good hack. For this example, the person sees the fly and is curious. There is a degree of power, a challenge perhaps, and maybe status (if succeed in removing the fly.) There might be a sense of goals bring achieved, or freedom to do what we think we need to do seeing the fly.

We will keep this hack challenge open until September 20, 2012.  Our Hack Queen or Hack King will be announced the following week!

Happy hacking!

Stefan and Catherine

Hello! Welcome! Guten Tag! Willkommen! Bonjour! Bienvenue!

Greetings to all interested or curious about what it means to “hack your business culture”, Stefan Haas and I created this blog to capture these Cultural Hacks as they occur. You can find further information on how a good hack is performed, however for this blog we’ve simplified the steps to make it easier to post your hacks and comments.

Suggested (not required) template. (Think of this like poetry – if there is a format to the poetry this provides a constraint which almost makes it easier to write the poem!

To get things started while we are busy finishing the blog just DT your twitter ID to @bizculturehacks, so that we can retweet your hacks.

Stefan Haas & Catherine Louis