Corporate Epidemics
1 min read

Corporate Epidemics

Every company is dysfunctional to some degree. Below are a few causes:

(1) Parkinson's Law: Work will expand to fill the time allotted for its completion. People make work for themselves to fill time and justify their roles. This is often a selfish lens, putting self before company or product or team or users.

(2) Peter Principle: Organizations have a tendency to promote employees until they reach a level of respective incompetence.

Below are a few more that I made up (although they may exist already in some fashion).
(3) Existential Busyness Syndrome: People will create unnecessary busyness to feel essential.

(4) Visible Role Validation Phenomenon: People feel the need to validate their existence in a role through ultra-visible activities, even when they're not effective, productive, or valuable.

All of these lead to bloat and mediocrity, or worse, especially since they compound. These are signs of an epidemic inside of an organization.

Playing this out even further, it helps explain bubbles and exuberant behavior at times.

  • Investors need to invest.
  • Project managers need to project manage.
  • Marketing needs to market.
  • In the public sector, gov agencies might initiate projects or continue programs that are no longer necessary or effective.

    It can be nearly impossible to change or combat these cultures once wide-spread, at scale.

    The best companies (in tech) tend to be those where their founding DNA is still pervasive (and likely, their founders are still leading the company), who focus on outcomes, users, and platforms/ecosystems instead of product silos. These organizations are rare. Culturally, they require people who don't innately behave selfishly, which is also more rare than many of us would like.