Click Here North Star Writers Group
Syndicated Content.
Eric Baerren
Lucia de Vernai
Herman Cain
Dan Calabrese
Alan Hurwitz
Paul Ibrahim
David Karki
Llewellyn King
Nancy Morgan
Nathaniel Shockey
Stephen Silver
Candace Talmadge
Jessica Vozel
Feature Page
David J. Pollay - The Happiness Answer
Cindy Droog - The Working Mom
The Laughing Chef
Mike Ball - What I've Learned So Far
Bob Batz - Senior Moments
D.F. Krause - Business Ridiculous
Roger Mursick - Twisted Ironies
D.F. Krause
  D.F.'s Column Archive

February 12, 2007

Which Department Should Lead? Every!


“Our goal, on the project management team, is to make this a project-management-led organization.”


So said Pete from project management.


A project-management-led organization. I see. Wait. No. I don’t. What exactly does that mean? What would a “project-management-led organization” be like?


“It means the people who are leading you are deadline- and process-driven, D.F. Trust me, it’s just what the company needs.”


Sounds just like what a convicted serial killer needs. Just as lethal as a firing squad, and far more annoying.


But you can’t hold it against Pete that he thinks his department should lead the organization. It is one of the great traditions of corporate America that every department thinks it should lead the organization.


Ask marketing:


“The company should be a marketing-led organization because our image as defined and put forward in marketing must be consistent with our day-to-day inner workings,” says Malcolm from Marketing. “Marketing sets the tone for the entire organization. As we market, so we function.”


Ah, but sales begs to differ:


“The company should be a sales-led organization,” says Stanley from sales. “Sales makes our money.”


OK, so salespeople aren’t very eloquent. But they do know about money, and that brings us to finance, which thinks it should be running the show:


“The company should be a finance-led organization because the financial performance and integrity of the organization provides grist for the mill, the seedling for the innovative garden and salt for the water in our corporate ocean.”


Wait! Don’t forget manufacturing operations!


“The company should be an operations-led company because you know all those things that we make that we always tell people about? Well, we’re the ones who make them. So we get to be in charge.”


Every department thinks it can lead the company. Well, except executive management. They know better. They just keep wondering how much longer they can hold out before people start noticing they have no idea what they’re doing.


But in the meantime, if all the other departments think they should be leading the company, fine by me. Project management wants everyone obsessed with process and deadlines? Let’s appoint them permanent and forever leaders of the company. Within a week they’ll all be killed by the rest of the employees, and then another department can have a turn.


Marketing! You’re up!


“Now every time you speak with an outside person about the company, we want you to say, ‘The Company is committed to the principles of the betterment of materials, product, excellence and people fulfillment throughout the Earth.’ Just say that every time you meet someone!”


Oh look. The marketing director’s just been taken out and shot. Next . . .


Anyone who actually wants to lead your company should be disqualified from doing so by definition, on the grounds that no sane person could actually want to attempt corporate leadership.


But it tends to follow that everyone thinks their own department is the most important, and should therefore be leading everyone else. Why they think such importance should be punished with such rigmarole is beyond me, but go on with your bad self.


We’re about to fit all employees with green eyeshades at our new “accounting-led organization.” Pencil sharpeners for everyone!


To offer feedback on this column, click here.


© 2007 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


Click here to talk to our writers and editors about this column and others in our discussion forum.


To e-mail feedback about this column, click here. If you enjoy this writer's work, please contact your local newspapers editors and ask them to carry it.

This is Column # DFK67.  Request permission to publish here.