Inefficiency drives me mad––especially when inefficient events have the capacity for resolution, yet hold their immovable positions for no warranted reasons. A prime example of inefficiency that I loathe, indeed one that Gen Z as a whole can relate to, is the inefficiency of corporate hierarchy. The entire notion of the corporate latter is one that places unnecessary stumbling blocks in the way of a perhaps otherwise talented individuals, who lack the ability to excel in the workplace thanks to archaic protocols and structures of “dominance” (i.e–resumes with 40 years of experience). Ultimately this means that the organization loses in the end, as its protocols of hierarchy (and spite for newcomers), make it so that the young, curious, motivated, and entrepreneurial individuals are forced to work out of The Office of The Lowest Hanging Fruit rather than reaching their fullest potential. For one, I would never run my business this way.
Recently, I authored a piece on how "Gen Z Will Spell The End Of The Enterprise Model." This is for a number of reasons, which are neatly summarized in the following excerpt:
Innovation as a result of a more flexible workplace dynamic in which employees are valued is another reason why Gen Z will spell the end of the enterprise model. The current structure is too rigid, which can lead to a decline in total enterprise innovation. Clearly, this structure is entirely backwards and unfit to carry out the goal of societal digitalization––let alone accelerate it.
Now, how I would run a company as CEO to eliminate inefficiency? Let’s use an example. Say that I was the Editor in Chief of the New York Times Magazine. If a 16-year-old drafted a beautiful piece and pitched it to the editorial team at the NYT, they would 100% turn it down. But if it were one of their garbage, seasoned columnists who submitted a subpar piece, it would be accepted. But why? Because organizational hierarchy suggests that the “most experienced,” and not the “most innovative,” are the ones who receive prioritization in the workplace, and this is wildly inefficient. The only way to unlock workplace efficiency is to toss hierarchy out the window, and value the human based upon the raw work that they create––not their age, their race, their gender, their name, none of it.
If it were I who headed the NYT, I would do the following: I would accept pieces from applicants, and I would judge the piece based on the raw value of the work itself. I would refuse to know the applicant’s name, race, age, gender as described earlier. This automatically rules out the ability for bias, and bias is wildly inefficient. It causes us to leap to assumptions and judgements without a shred of evidence. Bias can be (and is), costly. Moreover, whichever piece best fit the theme of the magazine for that week or month (or whatever the interval may be), I would choose that work. But it does not stop there––I would even refuse to know the identity of the person who authored the piece thereafter, so as to not build any preconceived notions or biases about that individual from the start. I would create an environment in which all humans could succeed and leverage their fullest potential because it would be a meritocratic environment rather than a hierarchical one. Yes, I realize this is not the end all be all solution of solving inefficiencies. But organizational hierarchy has long been known by all within its structure to be vastly inefficient. Just take meetings for example––everyone hates meetings. Period. End of story. This is just one example of said inefficacy of the enterprise corporate system.
To conclude, the inefficiency of corporate hierarchy can be eliminated by evaluating human talent based on the *raw work* they produce–not by focusing on outer factors like gender, age, race, sex, or experience. If firms want people to excel at their jobs, firms must focus on what they can do, and leverage that. Not what college they went to. Bias kills.