My Employer and the Great Wall of China
Yesterday afternoon I overheard my oxygen-wasting senior manager ask an interesting question of his EA, whose desk sits about ten feet from my office door. The question was prompted by the installation of a long (about eight foot) framed photograph of the
- The GWOC was costly, complicated, took years to build and ultimately failed at what it was designed to do.
- Looked upon as a technological marvel at the time of its conception, the GWOC was obsolete by the time it was finished.
- The GWOC required engineering skills to build (the picture’s presence serves as a reminder that something is overwhelmingly and glaringly missing in our company).
- The GWOC was built at the behest of the government. So is everything our company builds.
- Because the GWOC was built at the behest of the government, comparison point number 1 resulted. Again, note the eerie comparison between centuries and circumstances.
- The GWOC served as a lesson in strategic failure that no one seemed to learn anything from (remember the Maginot Line?). Oh, and about those five reorganizations you’ve forced in as many years. . .
- The GWOC devoured those who built it.
- The GWOC was built and serviced by half-starved slaves.
- Though recognized as a failure and allowed to crumble into ruin, the GWOC was eventually restored and maintained at tremendous cost in the vague and ridiculous hope that it would ultimately serve some useful strategic purpose.
- The GWOC is built with stones, mud and sticks.
- The GWOC is immobile and unable to adapt to changing conditions.
- The GWOC’s sheer size ensures that it is surrounded by ludicrous myths (e.g., “the only man-made object visible from the moon”).
- The GWOC is trumpeted as an engineering marvel and a source of great pride, even though it is both a functional failure and thousands of years old.
- The GWOC ultimately got in the way of progress and had to be torn down in parts to make way for modern technology.
Chinaor anywhere else in the world (as Hadrian’s Walland the Berlin Wall, among other failures, both attest).
How's that for starters?