IN THE American version of “The Office”, a TV mockumentary about the daily grind of work, Oscar Nunez, one of the show’s characters, comes out with this gem:
“It doesn’t take a genius to know that every organisation thrives when it has two leaders. Go ahead, name a country that doesn’t have two presidents. A boat that sets sail without two captains. Where would Catholicism be without the popes?”
I was reminded of this while reading about Fishbowl, an American software firm, in theHarvard Business Review. It employs a pair of managers for each position in the company. Everyone, explain the firm’s two bosses in the (inevitably) jointly-authored piece, “thought we were crazy”. While everyone else was busy cutting out management tranches and getting rid of extraneous staff, Fishbowl was doubling up on every one of its management positions, at “not inconsequential cost”.