Introducing Apology Metrics

chris christieDov Seidman has published an article on Dealbook to launch a NYT’s Apology Watch Project. In it, he notices a glut in public apologies, ranging from Lance Armstrong’s on Oprah to Governor Chris Christie’s to Snapchat’s reluctant apology, and mourns the “loss of the genuine apology.” He proposes a new way of assessing apologies.

“Instead of reviewing apologies like  theatrical performances – with critical opinions about degrees of sincerity – let’s assess them empirically, not in the moment, but after the moment.  So when a CEO who apologizes to millions of customers for getting hacked promises tighter cybersecurity measures, let’s track – three months and three years into the future, beyond the limits of today’s short-attention span culture.” … Everyone in business knows the expression “we manage what we measure.”  But what we measure is also a window into what we value and, in turn, into our values.  A new apology metric should measure how authentic and how effective an apology is over time.

Andrew Sorkin has also published a column on apologies along with Dov Seidman.

Here he is, quoting Seidman:“The foundation for this shortcutting starts in childhood, when parents force children to say ‘I’m sorry’ as a way to educate them about appropriate behaviors. But all it does is teach children a verbal escape ro

ute. We must recognize that we don’t apologize to get out of something, but rather to get into a new mode of thought and behavior. It’s a beginning, not an end.”

Read this case-study of how Netflix turned around its culture and business, beginning with an apology.

Categories: The Apology Project

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