Note from Chris: this is a re-publication of a humor piece I wrote in 2007. A friend reminded me of it and I felt compelled to re-post.
We need to bring a sense of equilibrium back to business. All across the country, when disputes happen it is so difficult to achieve a good decision among all the ass-kissing and PC BS. Wah wah wah, Mr. Johnson wants to go ahead with the merger but Mr. Rodriguez thinks we shouldn’t or Ms. Washington thinks HR should offer benefits for spouses but Mr. Martin says it is too expensive and so on and so forth.
Forget the two-sided win-win cliche crap. The best solution is eight-sided and requires a referee. The solution is The Octagon. The UFC truly is sweeping the nation and it should be brought to business.
Special rules will be required in addition to the regular rules of the UFC. These special rules include:
- Octagon challenges are only allowed horizontally in the organization. That is, the janitor cannot challenge the CEO and a manager cannot challenge a subordinate.
- Women may challenge men but men cannot challenge women (sucks but only makes sense).
- An employee is not required to accept a challenge (wus). However, the decline of a challenge is an automatic forfeit of his or her argument or dispute.
- Present or future decisions may not be based on past fights.
- If one employee wins five consecutive octagon challenges and that employee is deemed to be a complete and total moron who is gaining too much power, that employee can be defeated by a vote of his/her peers or by a two-on-one match in the Octagon. As the reigning champion and decision maker, he or she will be allowed to choose the method but the other employees may choose who will fight in the event the two-on-one match is chosen as the method of challenge.
- A fight must occur on the day in which the challenge was proposed and accepted.
- Referee must be either a third party from outside the company or any non-direct subordinate of both fighters.
In conversations about this, the question arises, “Should there be an announcer?” The answer is a resounding, “Yes!” Depending upon the size of the company the special position of “Announcer” may need to be filled but at smaller companies the position is a great honor to bestow on willing employees. In what way could you make the janitor feel more appreciated than by making him the MC of the octagon? I bet people would be nicer to him in the halls. Same goes for referee.
The employment of Octagon girls should be highly considered. Octagon girls can actually serve two functions – as ring leaders in the Octagon and as trade show displays – so the costs of their employment can be distributed across “administration and marketing”, respectively. An additional bonus is that they might gain free publicity for a company from time to time such as when Rachelle Lea appeared on the cover of “Stuff” magazine.
Other Factors to Consider
A decision to embrace the Octagon decision-making method is, in the very least, a paradigm shift in the way a business operates and thinks about decisions. While not every decision needs to be handled in the Octagon, many will be so it is important to consider the implications and the impacts the new policy will have upon an existing and future workforce.
Medical Issues: A company taking on this policy should weigh medical costs against the increased speed of decision making. One solution is maintain first-aid stations with items for bruises and fracture care throughout the offices.
Hiring Issues: Consider the range of possibilities in this statement. “John, we are an Octagon decision certified company. This is Bill. Sure, he’s 6′5″ tall and weighs 245 pounds but he’s exceptionally bright as well. You will be working directly with him on many important decisions. Do you still want to work here?”
Size of the Workforce: This is not about numbers. This has more to do with mass. There may be a natural tendency for the average size of individual workers to increase over time. Will you need to increase the size of furniture, doorways, and other common items to accommodate them? They probably won’t care anyway.
Speed of Decision-Making: Will your current work processes be able to handle the vast improvement in the speed at which your company will begin making decisions?
The Outcome – Clear Decision Making
Using the Octagon for decision making is more than just a method. It brings with it the outcome of clear decisions and those outcomes should be effectively communicated through the organization to reap the full benefits of the Octagon. Deciding fights should be posted on corporate decision blogs and disseminated to all employees. A few of the best examples of how to structure such blogs are UFCfightnew.com for large companies because of its adaptability of structure for large organizations (list of on the right could be a list of divisions) and Boxxet.com’s UFC blog for small companies because of its completely simple layout.
Consider the implications, consider the power, consider the improvements, and even consider the pain, but definitely consider the Octagon for your business.
The original is offline but you can see it in all it’s sameness here: http://web.archive.org/web/20070716141511/http://www.gravityunknown.com/page/4/