Podcast Episode 1: An introductory overview

The Scandalarity Podcast’s inaugural episode delves into the intriguing dynamics of scandals, highlighting their complex nature and the repetitive patterns they exhibit. Dr. Andrew Atter, alongside co-host Flo, introduces listeners to a deep exploration of scandals, starting with the Ponzi scheme model exemplified by Bernie Madoff. They discuss how this scheme’s “pyramid of belief” represents a common thread across various scandals, where early participants’ trust in the scheme propagates wider belief and participation .

A significant portion of their conversation revolves around the unique characteristics of scandalous leaders, pointing out how such individuals often wield extraordinary power, seek out risk, and may break rules to achieve their ambitions. This tendency to “fly close to the sun” and the lack of institutional constraints to either anticipate or address their actions before they result in scandal are underscored as recurrent themes. The episode implies that these patterns are not accidental but are instead sought by leaders who are predisposed to taking high risks and engaging in potentially rule-breaking behavior .

The discussion also touches upon the Scandalarity community, a collective interested in uncovering and understanding the intricacies of scandals. The podcast aims to foster a comprehensive understanding by examining the complexities of scandals, their impact, and future implications, alongside insights from various experts and guests. This approach seeks to build a nuanced understanding of scandals, far beyond the superficial treatments they often receive in media and public discourse .

By focusing on scandals as a phenomenon, the podcast sets the stage for an ongoing examination that questions why society repeatedly falls into the same patterns without learning from past mistakes. This inquiry suggests a broader concern with the lack of a “special antenna” for recognizing the makings of a scandal and a call to better understand and possibly preempt them .

The Scandalarity Podcast’s first episode presents  a thoughtful exploration of the anatomy of scandals, the archetypal traits of their leaders, and the societal implications of their cyclical nature. Through this podcast, Dr. Atter and Flo Kelly aim to shed light on the darker, often overlooked aspects of scandals and their profound impact on the business world and beyon

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What’s the difference between a scandal and a crisis? 

These two words often get mixed up. This conflation is a big problem, as the effective methods of dealing with a scandal and a crisis vary significantly. Get it wrong, and the future of the company is at stake. Most businesses have some crisis management contingency, as this field has been studied to a far greater level. But very few have any actual preparations in place for a scandal. 

A crisis is like rough surf. People with the right skills know what to do. A scandal is a riptide. Far deadlier.

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