Challenging Giza

First, there were lots of people. People that needed something to do. Plenty of people, ready and willing to work, but how and what should they do? Someone needs to be in charge of these folk and provide some order; a person to manage these human resources.
Thus was the genesis of …the manager. One person could manage many people. Of course, managers, while adept at managing people have no clue what to actually do. Each manager cannot blindly go off and manage their resources without knowing what the other managers are doing with their resources. They need some kind of coordination or direction. And so it was, that the Director was born.

"For whom is all this work getting done?" you may ask. It is for the executives. This royalty of sorts are akin to the lords of yesteryear. The lord, or should I say, President is Numero Uno … the top of the chain. However, this great responsibility of photo ops, hand shaking, ribbon cutting, appearances with famous people, and charity dunk tanks is quite demanding. As a result, much of the actual business work falls to their trusted sidekick …the Vice President.

Dictionary.com defines “vice” as: “immoral conduct; depraved or degrading behavior.” By definition, the “vice” president must therefor conduct themself and behave in whatever manner needed to see to it that the virtuous folk below deliver for the President.

Now the problem with a pyramidal hierarchy is that definitively there are fewer slots higher up the chain. A cunning director, anxious to exhibit their vice-like skills, denounces the virtuous concept of patience while waiting for the vice presidential slot to be vacated. He instead crafts a sneaky plan.

Rather than wait to actually climb higher on the ladder, the director can emulate a similar self-gratifying effect by adding to the amount of ladder below. After all, you can either look at how far you are from the top or how far up you are from the bottom. The director shrewdly promotes their managers up to director positions in order to justify their own Vice President title.

As this director becomes a vice president an entropic condition is created. The new vice president still reports to the old vice president creating a paradoxical imbalance in the hierarchical structure.
Not to worry. We simply change the old Vice President to “Senior” Vice President. Whew! Catastrophe averted! Balance has been restored and the positive chi is reclaimed. Now we can proceed with business.

And so it goes. The vice presidential hierarchy expands like John Pinnette at a Chinese all-you-can-eat buffet. Many new prefixes are added to the vice presidential moniker: executive, chief, commanding, principal, head, managing, etc. Ironically, the care to maintain a pyramidal structure totally misses the fact all the hiring of friends and promoting has left little in terms of actual workers. The pyramid is now precariously balanced on top of a pole. Lots of growth, but organizationally it is all at the top.

This, my friends, is better known as “Organized For Growth.”