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Wednesday 27 July 2022

Manly Has Corporate Cancer

image: unsplash.

Why didn't the Manly Sea Eagles NRL club properly consult all their players before deciding to make them wear pride jerseys? As noted by several media outlets, neither the board, the coach nor the players, were responsible for making the rainbow flag decision. It was the marketing department. Why is this important? Because as author Vox day notes in his book Corporate Cancer, Social Justice Activists focus first on taking over two aspects of a company they are seeking to converge to their political agenda:

"There are two departments where convergence first develops inside the average corporation:

Human Resources (HR)
- Marketing

Of the two, Human Resources is by far the most dangerous. This is because it is the main point of entry into the corporation and it serves as an easily-controlled choke point for employees whose values and objectives are not in line with those of the corporation’s executives and shareholders. For example, social justice warriors in HR use execrable Codes of Conduct to drive out stubborn white males who insist on working in a meritocracy instead of a social justice collective."

The NRL and Manly, would probably sit between Moderately to Heavily converged:

"Moderately Converged. Social justice advocates now control Human Resources, which is used as a corporate high ground to exert influence over other departments as well as the executive team. The corporate marketing begins to devote more attention to signaling corporate virtue than selling its products. Managers are encouraged to hire diverse candidates and pressured to stop holding low-performance employees accountable. HR begins holding mandatory awareness sessions and hiring diversity consultants. The corporation’s customer service begins to go downhill.

Heavily Converged. Social justice advocates now control the corporate high ground and the strategic centers. Significant elements of the executive team and the board are devoted to social justice, often in a very public manner. Implicit hiring quotas are imposed and it becomes almost impossible to fire anyone for anything short of murder in the workplace. HR openly dictates corporate policy to employees, often without consulting the executives. The marketing materials not only signal corporate virtue, but openly advocate various social justice issues. The corporation shows indifference to its core customer base and begins to focus obsessively on new markets that mostly exist in its imagination."

Vox Day. Corporate Cancer. Kindle Edition.

The fact that the club and the League came out quickly to endorse the jersey's highlights that they are moving up the convergence ladder quickly.

Once a marketing department starts making big social justice moves, like changing the players jerseys, this is a sign that a large percentage of that company's resources are directed to efforts that have nothing to do with its core business interests, in this case, winning football games and selling football related products. With company resources being focused on a niche political issue, is it any wonder that Manly have been a struggling team for some time? 

This was once a powerhouse club in the game, but they have struggled to perform consistently well for years now. Despite having multiple high quality representstive players, including the QLD and Australian incumbent half-back as their captain. They now can't even get all their best players on the field for an important game to ensure they can qualify for the finals, because they chose this week to represent a sexual identity, rather than their footy fans.

Day's book is great, because it helps explain why so many modern companies have weird marketing campaigns out of step with their core business. These companies are slowly being overrun by these identity groups whose primary interests lay in promoting these messages, rather than winning football games, selling tickets, or whatever else is the business of the particular company. 

In the case of Manly, diversities have collided. Religious Polynesian players have clashed with the religion of corporate Australia - selective inclusivity. Fascinating to watch happen. And the frequency of these clashes will only increase as diversity increases. Polynesian players are one of the biggest demographics in the NRL and they are not shy about their faith. It is central to who they are. But corporate Australia is just as dedicated to their rainbow god. It's not possible, or even desirable, to include all forms of diversity. And this is going to result in ongoing clashes amongst our diverse society as competing identities vie for ascendancy. 

If you want to understand what is happening in these companies and how to avoid it in your business (or Church denomination), then Corporate Cancer is a helpful tool for that purpose.

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