X

DUMPSTER FYRE

POSTED ON 
February 28, 2019

Like a lot of people, I recently watched the Netflix documentary Fyre in total disbelief as I watched the festival slowly swirl down the drain. And now it seems the scandal of the festival has even infiltrated the documentary battle between Netflix and Hulu, raising questions about who else is really responsible beyond Billy McFarland.

As an employee experience junkie, I couldn’t help but think about the employees. Who knew what? Who asked the right questions but was denied honest answers? Why did people keep showing up without getting paid? How much leeway can corporate culture and executive swagger buy you?


At Brilliant Ink, we advocate for honest, transparent organizations that treat their employees like human beings and welcome diverse opinions and challenging debates. We’ve found that employees are naturally skeptical of leadership and are hard to fool day in and day out. So what happened?

According to the now-controversial documentary, it seemed like those who asked the hard questions and challenged directly were swiftly shown the door, likely discouraging others from doing the same. Most recently, the Netflix coverage has come under fire, too. We have to ask ourselves what is the truth and what is fabricated about this entire enterprise.

But is there more to it? Is this the inherent risk of the hustle and grind culture? After all, if employees are working such long hours at a frenetic pace, they might not have time to question the decisions at the top. When cult-like fellowship is the norm, employees might be more likely to believe their CEO is showing them the path to fortune and fame. And when every employee is anointed as a brand ambassador and expected to flood social media with pro-company posts, companies might be creating a “yes” culture with no room for dissent.

So, what can we learn from the dumpster fire that was the Fyre Festival? Unquestioned leadership is a dangerous thing, and toting the company line can have unintended downstream effects. Oh yea, and never underestimate the persuasive power of a Kardashian.



Read more bite-sized brilliance on our LinkedIn and Twitter.

Sara Forner Howland
VICE PRESIDENT

You might also like

Ask the DEI Expert: Recruiting and Hiring Women of Color

Right now, we are seeing a lot of companies making public gestures to support Black employees but how do you go beyond and take action? We sat down with Michele Heyward, founder of Posi+ive Hire, to explore how companies can hire and, more importantly, retain women of color.

Read more
Why Exercising and Productivity Go Hand in Hand

In today’s work from home reality, we all find ourselves moving less and sitting more. Here’s why movement and exercise should be on your priority list and how it can actually make you more productive.

Read more
Think Before You Ask: Designing Employee Surveys for Actionable Data

Asking for employee feedback sends a message that you want to hear from them… unless you don’t do a single thing with the feedback. Here are 3 steps to help you think before you ask and yield data you can act on.

Read more