We have all seen them. Perhaps you worked at one. Or work at one currently. My condolences.

Huge, bureaucratic companies where no actual work gets done, unless you consider attending meetings to be work. Or preparing packages and presentations for meetings to be work.

How did things get this way? How do they make any money? At what point does a senior executive say, “What do all of these people do? Why do we need them?”

I recently read the book Company by Max Barry that satirizes this dysfunctional business model. The best salesperson (who, like all of the other sales persons, was only selling to other departments within the company) gets fired because the sales department doesn’t have the budget to pay his commissions. At which point the rest of the sales staff, in an effort to keep their jobs, hit the phones to convince their clients that they shouldn’t buy as much as they have already ordered. Later, the hero of the story later finds that the top floor of the building, which is key card accessed, does not even exist.

We are only three here at Gagliano & Company, at least on a daily basis. We don’t have meetings. All we do is the real work our clients need and want, the best we can, every day.

[Sorry, I find bloggers who “sell” in their blogs to be off-putting. No matter the discussion: business valuation, management techniques, zen buddhism, the historical importance of the Harlem Globetrotters, the blog veers into, “and this is why you should buy our product or service.” Ick. I hope I did not cross that line in the last paragraph. If so, I will accept the standard three lashes with a wet noodle as punishment.]