We all love a good story, and nothing is quite as compelling as a hero story.
You know the fella, he’s got a bright red cape, blue spandex body suit and red pants. On the outside – ok, I don’t really understand that bit either. Whatever.
Anyway you can picture the scene : there’s a skyscraper, in a terrorised country, run by a dictator and a surprise earthquake triggered by a super villain leaves it perilously close to collapse, on the brink of destruction.
Cutscene. A woman and child scream in panic on the roof top! Oh my god! The emotional factor! What will happen to our poor victims?
Just in the last moment our hero swoops in, saves the day with his superhero strength, props up the skyscraper and then flies off to deal with other such similar potential tragedies.
And they all live, happily ever after. The woman and child safe, free to go back to their cancerous jobs burning e-waste for precious minerals, and the superhero gets that warm fuzzy narcissistic glow from being a hero.
Except it’s not. It would be lovely if that was the end of the story, but of course the real story here is the construction story.
How did a skyscraper without sufficient earthquake protection get built in the first place?
In this story, there’s a structural engineering firm, a project management firm, some shady financial shell companies (that make it impossible to really tell where the money for this project came from in the first place) and they’re all suing the shit out of each other to avoid getting the blame.
But we focussed on the hero story, because it’s easier and more palatable and we don’t really have to think very hard about it. Obviously it doesn’t matter that this focus predestines us to repeat the same mistakes, over and over and over again, until we learn that the hero, is a symptom of the problem, not a solution to it.
Don’t fall for the easy story, if someone says to you the the word: hero, rockstar, superstar or guru, then chances are your organisation has some deep deep organisational problems and you’re building skyscrapers without earthquake protection.