These are stories Report on Business followed this week.
You'll be forgiven if all you talked about at the office this week was hockey.
But set aside the chatter over the valiant effort by the Habs and ask yourself if your workplace otherwise has a "jock culture."
Jim Doughterty's did. And he didn't like it.
What's more, as the boss he could do something about it. And, in the end, he found corporate life, and performance, much better without it.
"I wound up replacing that team with a mixture of men and women with many different backgrounds, effectively breaking up the company's sports cabal," Mr. Doughtery writes in a Harvard Business Review blog, referring to a research firm he headed.
"Soon the jock network was gone. It was not intentional - I never consciously thought, 'I need to get rid of the jocks.' I just put in place the folks I thought were best, jock or not."
Mr. Doughterty, an entrepreneur and senior lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management, tells of how he took over this large, unidentified operation that was close to failing.
The group he inherited was made up entirely of men, all one-time jocks.
"The sports focus created enormous insularity - it was difficult for anyone who didn't follow the Bruins or the Pats to gain traction in a conversation," Mr. Dougherty writes.
"Meanwhile, their business performance was abysmal. These guys would make a forecast on Monday and miss it Friday of that same week."
Many firms have such cultures, according to Mr. Dougherty, and it's a bad thing.
These groups are largely male, when women are needed "to better team performance." And sports metaphors get tiresome. And "groupthink" can be bad.
Mr. Dougherty said he learned how this was hurting his company's results, adding several people who were excluded from the sports group were demoralized, believing they wouldn't be promoted or rewarded properly.
That changed, though, and they soon "began to shine" when the jock shock ended.
There's a cost to all this on a grander scale, of course, though disengagement among employees goes well beyond jock cultures.
Gallup, for example, said in a recent study that "active disengagement" in American workplaces costs the United States between $450-billion (U.S.) and $550-billion annually.
Disengaged troops make for absent, lazier and careless troops.
"Organizations with an average of 9.3 engaged employees for every actively disengaged employee in 2010-2011 experienced 147-per-cent higher earnings per share (EPS) compared with their competition in 2011-2012," Gallup said.
"In contrast, those with an average of 2.6 engaged employees for every disengaged employee experienced 2-per-cent lower EPS compared with their competition during that same time period."
The week in Business Briefing
- Hudak could use some tutoring from the math teachers he wants to fire
- How Starbucks has conquered Canada
- How the Ontario Tories screwed up the 'Million Jobs Plan'
- John Chen says he'll 'save the patient' as odds swing in BlackBerry's favour
- Six nifty things from the GDP report, four of which may brighten your day
The week in Streetwise (for subscribers)
- Jacqueline Nelson: Manulife returns to Myanmar after 70 years
- Boyd Erman: The rise of search funds and a new generation of bosses
- Tim Kildaze: Scotiabank hints at more foreign acquisitions
- Jeffrey Jones: Two oil juniors take advantage of robust energy financing market
- Boyd Erman: PrairieSky makes big splash in largest market debut since 2000
The week in Real estate
- Tara Perkins: Canadian home affordability caught in a tug of war
- Royal Bank offers real estate agents mortgage referral fees
- Mortgage battle escalates as Scotiabank offers 2.97% five-year rate
- Toronto condo developers rushed to beat fee hikes
- How will rising mortgage rates affect Canadian house prices?
The week in ROB Insight (for subscribers)
- Kevin Allison: U.S. cracking down on 'inversions' used to escape taxman
- Brian Milner: For meat lovers, it's a perfect storm that will blow over
- Clément Gignac: Quebec's budget plan threatened by a demographic time bomb
- David Parkinson: Ottawa fails the science test
- Carl Mortished: Sex and drugs and accounting in the U.K.
The week's top news
- Greg Keenan: Self-driving Google car steers change in auto industry
- Tim Kiladze: Quarterly earnings shine for banks, but tougher times ahead
- Christine Dobby and Sophie Cousineau: Mulroney to be named chairman of Quebecor
- Carrie Tait: Total shelves $11-billion Alberta oil sands mine
- Canada's first-quarter growth slowest since 2012
The week's must-reads
- Jacqueline Nelson: Toronto native sells potential of little-known Arab emirate
- Eric Atkins: Meat prices soar in time for grilling season
- Cirque du Soleil, filmmaker Cameron team up for show based on Avatar
- Kelly Cryderman: Fort McMurray's new airport terminal a gateway to Alberta's oil sands
- Jacqueline Nelson: Britain sexes up the dismal science
- S&P/TSX Composite14,681.97+42.09(+0.29%)
- S&P 500 INDEX2,180.38+11.34(+0.52%)
- Dow Jones Industrials18,502.99+107.59(+0.58%)
- Canadian Dollar / US Dollar FX Spot Rate0.7684-0.0002(-0.03%)
- Crude Oil Front Month Futures$47.00+0.02(+0.04%)
- Gold Front Month Futures$1,322.900.00(0.00%)
- Updated August 29 4:33 PM EDT. Delayed by at least 15 minutes.