Friday, April 29, 2005

The Corporate Psychopath

I could not agree more with this analysis of the corporation as a person. Seeking therapy for just three of the whole bunch of character flaws could put Gartner, Forrester, Giga et al out of business.

- They are impulsive, and show poor control over their behaviors
- They cannot form long-term plans that are realistic
- They are impulsive, and irresponsible

The whole slew of high-end management consulting firms who thrive primarily because corporations have

- Grandiose sense of self-worth
- Need for stimulation, with a proneness to boredom

Kamikaze mammoth projects are untaken, millions are burnt and lessons are not learnt because

- They do not accept responsibility for their actions - another caused it

I wonder how psychopathic character would map to Gartner Hype Cycles in technology services and development which supposedly goes through Technology Trigger, Peak of Inflated Expectations, Trough of Disillusionment, Slope of Enlightenment, Plateau of Productivity. I have rarely if ever seen the last two phases of the cycle come to pass. That sounds like a manic-depressive to me.

4 comments:

Mindsurfer said...

With not much special respect for corporations, I have to say this in their defense, though -
The psycopath does all that has been mentioned in the quoted comparison simply because of a sick urge. The corporation behaves this way in order to survive. A corporation that does not exhibit these tendencies is seen as not having potential, and investors WILL pull the plug on it. Funny little comparison on that site, but utterly baseless. IMHO, the blame game on corporations is just a way for people who make money off of them to refocus the guilt elsewhere.
My 2 cents, and strictly IMHO.

SeaSwallowMe said...

hey crossings,

i don't know why, but today, i seem to posting tongue-in-cheek comments to serious blogs. wonder if the vice versa situation applies to this one :-P

ok, i'll still go with the serious comment. though "applying DSM-IV" had me going ROTFL :))

methinks corporations do all that & more besides (did you see what those eBay execs got pulled up for today ? - what happened is something everybody knows. i'm hugely surprised that people are actually getting pulled rapped on the knuckles for it). but with the sole purpose of making money. if that's what they end up doing, (and assuming the shareholders are not fronting the Mafia - i think those would probably be LBOs rather than the publicly traded ones :-P) who really cares if the means are psychopathic or not. this falling under the end-of-the-day rule ;)

Heartcrossings said...

SSM - I guess what I found disturbing about the analysis is the instinct to do wrong habitually and instinctively comes with psychopathic territory. They don't know better or different.

Explains the relentless blood-letting that always accompanies a merger/acquisition deal. Outsourcing follows soon after.

Promiscuity and multiple short marital relationships at work. Ominous parallels !

vikasgupta said...

The analysis hyperlink shows a 404 error now! I searched the site for the article but could not find it! It's ok. You can't do anything about it.