Ouch! Corporate Firewalk Not Very Successful

A big real estate company in Italy hired a performance coach, and he arranged for employees to walk on a bed of burning coals. Eight people ended up in the hospital with minor burns. The coach claims he's been doing this for years without a problem. But this time, he says, the wrong kind of wood was purchased.

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, host:

Our last word in business today is burning loyalty.

A few years back, the NBC comedy "The Office" featured the character Michael Scott organizing a motivational exercise. It was aimed at helping his colleagues overcome their limits.

(Soundbite of TV show, "The Office")

Mr. STEVE CARELL (Actor): (as Michael Scott) We'll have a super fun time defeating our fear and creating a lasting memory, walking through fire.

(Soundbite of laughter)

KELLY: Well, thinking along these lines, a big real estate company in Italy did hire a performance coach, and he arranged for employees to walk on a bed of burning coals. Eight people ended up in the hospital with minor burns. The coach claims he's been doing this for years without a problem. But this time, he says, the hotel where he staged the event brought in the wrong kind of wood and added artificial coal without him knowing. Ouch.

That's the business news on MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Mary Louise Kelly.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

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