Written by Sarah Morgan - Director, Equity and inclusion

One of my favorite old skool hip-hop songs is “Self Destruction.” After 30 years, I still know over 90% of the lyrics. It is one of a few old skool jams that causes me to stop whatever I’m doing and lose myself in the message and the nostalgia for a few minutes whenever I hear it.

The song popped into my head recently as I was planning an exercise about the connectedness of the various business functions after in-fighting over who is the most important, who deserves the most accolades, attention and budget resources led to a total breakdown.

I found myself looking to these lyrics for explanation and inspiration …

It really ain’t the rap audience that’s buggin
It’s one or two suckas, ignorant brothers
Trying to rob and steal from one another
You get caught in the mid
So to crush the stereotype here’s what we did
We got ourselves together
so that we could unite and fight for what’s right

The first thing I had to remind them is the majority of department employees are positive about and supportive of what each area is trying to do. We recognize each others’ value and we celebrate it. There are only a few bad apples who are insecure in their knowledge and their roles that are causing the problems. The positive voices must continue to speak often and loudly to mute and drown out the negative sounds.

Pop pop pop
When it’s hot who’s to blame?
Headlines, front page, and rap’s the name

Whether it is Marketing or Operations or Accounting, when things go wrong, the company as a whole gets blamed. Customers and clients don’t care about our department beefs and squabbles. They see us as ONE and they expect consistency and excellence. We need to start seeing ourselves the same so that we work to help each other and not undermine each other.

If we want to develop and grow to another level
We can’t be guinea pigs for the devil
The enemy knows, they’re no fools
Because everyone knows that hip-hop rules

Fighting each other doesn’t help our organization to be successful. We need to focus on our common goals and the ways we are connected, not create further division. We have to keep our internal disputes under control and under the radar so that it doesn’t spill over into the success of our business.

It’s time to stand together in a unity
Cause if not then we’re soon to be
Self-destroyed, unemployed
The rap race will be lost without a trace

The wars between the departments will have your organization headed for self destruction. By setting out to make the other look less valuable, the whole organization looks foolish and suffers because of it. We must learn to focus on understanding the purpose and goal of each function and look for how we can help each other to be successful and advance.

Learn to be
Self-sufficient, independent
To teach to each is what rap intended
But society wants to invade
So do not walk this path they laid.
It’s Self Destruction

The real “enemy” is our outside competition — the companies and industries that our organization competes with for customers, clients, resources, revenue, and market share. Not our own Operations or Accounting or IT – and definitely not any of the functions of HR 😉