Only in corporations…
There is a film due to be released sometime around now: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, in which Brad Pitt plays a man who begins his life as an old fellow who then proceeds to get younger as he grows up.
[It’s a David Fincher film, so worth seeing… Remember him, he gave us the best movie about Generation X you ever saw… Answers on a postcard, please]
And, seeing the trailer this week, badconsultant were reminded of one of our favourite mental frameworks: the reverse evolution that takes place in corporations every day.
1) People join companies as adults, engaging in an adult transaction of applying for, being offered and accepting a job
2) Early career, begin to fade backward from adulthood
3) By the time you are in middle management, you’re a stroppy teenager, whining that things just aren’t fair and looking at senior leaders much the same way as teenagers sneer at their parents: “I haaate you… you just don’t understaaaaand me!”
4) By the time you’re a senior leader, you just long for the days when you were a middle manager, you’re prone to unbidden temper tantrums every so often, but generally just kind of confused and enthralled by the world like a 5 year old kid
5) And by the time you’re an executive, well let’s just say that when we scream we want fed, when we scream we want our nose wiped and, if we don’t get it, we just scream some more
So there you have it, reverse evolution is alive and well in the modern corporation. And it doesn’t look anywhere near as
cute as Brad Pitt.
[tho’ that botox’d should come with an ‘allegedly’]