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Your corporate functions are illusionists.

Know that first. And retain it after everything else.

Your corporate functions are illusionists.

And that just might be OK, because maintaining the illusion of hunky-doryness is just what the market and organizations want – your share price and career success depends on smoke and mirrors.

We’ve written about the illusion of hunky-doryness before, of course, when covering 3 things you need to know about innovation. And, while we’re not averse to charging twice

[or on a serial license basis]

for something we’ve provided for free before, let’s summarise:

The Illusion of Hunky-Doryness: Assured predictability through relentless confirmation that everything is going to plan and that every risk has been either eliminated, adjusted or contingentificated.

[made-up words like contingentificated are cool]

It’s what executives get rewarded for. It’s the story that everyone

[don’t be bashful, you do it too]

tells about the past. The cloud shrouding the collective abnormality that is the modern organization. The uber-myth.

The illusion of hunky-doryness.

It doesn’t come without effort. And that’s where your corporate functions step in because in the uber-myth, leaders are infallible

[until they fall]

and everything is going to plan. So, we get the mini-myths that support the illusion:

  • We are a highly diverse and engaged team (HR)
  • We are an open and transparent culture (Communication)
  • We are maximizing revenue and minimizing cost (Finance & Operations)
  • We are focused on our core markets and customers (Strategy)
  • We are flexing information to gain insight (IT)

Illusion or delusion? The reality is more like:

  • I am largely ignored and penalized for being different (HR)
  • Who said that? Tell me… WHO SAID THAT? (Communication)
  • Make sure you spend all your budget so you don’t lose out next year (Finance & Operations)
  • We’re heading to a cliff but blissful in denial, don’t change a thing (Strategy)
  • Death by e-mail? Read this 18MB attachment (IT)

Everyone knows the reality. Everyone. And yet, executives continue to get rewarded for the mini-myths – which are sustained by the corporate functions who know that their real function is to maintain the illusion of hunky-doryness.

More to come on the how and what of this, but for now, know one thing: your corporate functions are illusionists.