The thing that makes Dilbert so uncanny is Scott Adams’ ability to nail corporate reality dead-on.
My calendar for last Sunday (Jan 6) featured a cartoon in which Wally outlined his strategy for “success” (“success” for him being anything that minimizes work and accountability). Here are the things he did:
- Gave a worthless response to people who weren’t specific about what they needed.
- Didn’t attend a meeting because the location was never confirmed.
- Gave bad advice because he was rushed.
- Ignored email because he was told to focus on priorities.
- Failed to turn in a report because the report format was never specified.
What is remarkable about this is that there are people – and you know it – who exist within office cultures with this exact mentality. Spend 70-80% of your workplace energy on shifting blame to others (or setting them up for a blame shift) and you can often avoid accountability and real work.
No wonder so many medium to large firms struggle with profit margins. Its inevitable that you’re going to pick up one or two Wallys along the way.