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Lesson 028: Managing policies and procedures outside the office
TV Series: Star Trek - The Next Generation
Season/Episode: 6/17 ('Birthright: Part II')

[Scene]

Worf is being held against his will on a peaceful planet where former enemies, the Klingons and the Romulans, now live together in peace.

When Worf asks to travel outside of the restricted area and promises to not to try to escape, the Romulan camp commander, at first, rejects Worf's request. However, as the elder Klingon leader on the planet reminds the Romulan commander that a Klingon never breaks his word, the Romulan Commander leaves the final decision up to the Klingon elder.

Worf is given permission to travel outside by the elder Klingon; however, he is to be chaperoned by another Klingon, who in turn is given the direct order to kill Worf, in case Worf tries to escape.

[Lesson]

One of the inherent responsibilities of management is to take certain amount of risk in assigning tasks involving external contact.

It is not just the individual talents of the available resources that dictate the selection of personnel; rather, it is the overall ability of the resource to meet the necessary needs of the assignment and represent the organization in the best light that must be considered carefully.

Whereas, tasks performed strictly internally within the four walls of a company can be distributed easily without too much concern for interaction with people outside, it is more the assignments which require contact by personnel from the company with people outside the organization that should raise concerns for exercising proper due diligence in the resource selection process.

When any internal personnel interacts with the organization's clients, prospects, partners, outside media or even with another division within the same organization, the management must ensure the assigned person is fully aware of their fiduciary obligations as a formal representative of the company.

That is, all words communicated and actions taken by the individual will be considered as sanctioned by, and as a reflection of the organization.

This not only necessitates that the individual very carefully mind their P's & Q's, but also to hold to the very highest standards of ethical and moral behavior as constituted by their company's internal Policies and Procedures manual. Violation of these standards may not only embarrass the organization publicly, but could also bring about financial and legal losses.

Under the prospects of such dire consequences, management is well advised to make clear to their representative the possible penalties that can be incurred for violating company policies, well before the assignment begins. The reductions in rank, loss of promotion possibilities, and dismissal are all suitable penalties for such violations.

Fortunately for us humans, even in the case of deliberate repeat offenders, management is not permitted to consider the Klingon penalty of death as a viable reprimand.

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