Friday, October 26, 2012

Org. Charts.

Yesterday, replete with emoticons :-) I got an email forwarding to me my client's marketing "org charts." It was suggested I file these away for my reference.

I opened the attached powerpoint and expected to see three pages or maybe four. What I got were 25 pages (I'm not exaggerating) of everyone in their marketing organization and how they are connected to everyone else, all the way up to the cock of the walk, the CMO.

25 pages of org charts.

These charts arrived as if by magic on the eve of having to show three levels of clients a handful of rough cuts. Assuming that viewing goes well, we have another level of rough cuts showing on Monday and another one on Thursday.

We talk about gridlock in Washington. We bemoan the bureaucracy in institutions like the military and entities like the Department of Motor Vehicles.

But we replicate these bureaucracies in our own businesses.

Even our internal reviews are as onerous as a caravan across the Sahara or, better, the Bataan Death March.

I suppose what's happened is this. As manufacturing and agriculture jobs have disappeared, more and more people have found work in "management" and "administration."

That's fine. For the most part those are good-paying jobs.

But unfortunately, they are "make work." Really, can someone tell me what they do all day besides attend meetings and prepare for meetings. What do they do and think and make that makes a difference to the success of the organization.

It doesn't take 30 people to approve advertising. Or to write a presentation. Or critique a brochure no consumer will actually ever read.

It takes one.

But as a society we have embraced gridlock.

It keeps us busy.


Elias said...

It does keep us busy so we don't yet have to face the challenges waiting for us in the 21st century.

Plus, Andre Gorz was right, we're running out of work that needs to be done to clothe/feed/house the world, therefore we create entities that keep us busy and on jobs, thus complicating the work that has to be done.

M Vassolo said...

I wonder what it was like in caveman times. Do you think there was a committee on cave paintings, complete with powerpoint action charts?

Tore Claesson said...

It's the only way a society, that with the help of machines can overproduce everything we need, can do to distribute money. If we didn't do that the world would effectively stop functioning. However painful the process is to get an ad approved. Or we might have to force the few who acutally are needed to get jobs done, and thus paid, to share their income with those who is not needed. However, with a glut in job seekers the salaries won't be enough to cover for all. When there is a surplus the price goes down. And so on. So basically we'll have to invent a lot of essentially unneccesary job for the world to round.

Elias said...

Tore, yes, I see your point.

I do believe though, that we as humanity have to see what's beyond the simple (and somewhat flawed) concept of capitalism.

Check Switzerland for example, where an unconditional basic income is actually openly discussed. Not that it will be put into action soon, but the signs they are a changing.

With this "artificial" job creation (and wealth aspiration), we're overusing our resources, creating illnesses (heart diseases, to some degree cancer, bad backs, etc) and are - in evolutionary terms - doomed to fail.

I just believe that it's about time we start thinking beyond the system of "money above all" and put into account such signs of a developed country as health, happiness, life expectancy (it's down in the US), community, etc.
Just a little bit, at least.
Running for wealth is getting really old now..

Tore Claesson said...