"Bill Gore, the founder of W.L.Gore and Associates, a highly profitable maker of Gore-Tex and other synthetic fiber products, had a lovely metaphor to instill in all employees an appreciation for the principle of the 'commons.' He called it the 'water-line' principle. He continually encouraged all 'associates' at W.L. Gore to venture out and take risks. But he said it was each associate's responsibility to know where the 'water line' was. 'If you make a mistake above the water line, it will not sink the ship. But if you are trying something which, if it failed, might be 'below the water line,' it could affect all of us.' Below-the-water-line risks -- actions which might jeopardize important 'commons' should be undertaken only after careful consultation with representatives of all other parties who might be affected."
Working Wounded Mailbag:
"Worst thing a boss has ever said to me was when we were having problems with the new computer system. Our lab director sat down at the computer and said in a loud voice so that we would all hear him…'Monkeys could do this job!'"
Here are the results from a recent Working Wounded Blog/ABCNEWS.com online ballot:
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Bob Rosner is a best-selling author, an internationally syndicated columnist, popular speaker and a recent addition to the community of bloggers. He welcomes your comments at email@example.com.
This work is the opinion of the columnist and in no way reflects the opinion of ABC News.