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Dilbert points to a slide and says, "As requested, I put together a list of functions we should outsource." Dilbert continues, "I limited my list to things we don't do well." The Boss and Wally listen as Dilbert's voice continues, "Marketing, quality control, engineering, finance, human resources, and customer support." Dilbert says, "That leaves us with our core competence..." Dilbert continues, "... Sitting around a brown table." Dilbert says, "And, of course, our ability to speak honestly without fear of retribution." The Boss says, "You will never get another raise as long as I'm alive." Dilbert responds, "Well, that puts a lot of pressure on the brown table strategy."
Dilbert points to a diagram that reads, "Year 1." He says, "The project got off to a slow start." Dilbert continues, "First we had the reorganization." Dilbert continues, "Then the merger. And the layoffs." Dilbert continues, "Budget freeze. Office relocation." Dilbert continues, "New Ceo, New consultants, New strategy." Business associates listen as Dilbert continues, "Eventually the whole industry changed and the opportunity evaporated." Dilbert continues, "So we classified our unused budget as "savings" and gave everyone a shirt. A female business associate turns to The Boss and says, "You said you'd show us your 'best practices.'" The Boss replies, "What are you implying?"
CEO: We need to have a bias for action. Don't let perfect be the enemy of good. Dilbert: So... a carpenter should saw the board first and measure it later? CEO: Your use of that folksy saying makes my strategy sound dumb. Alice: Why do you care if your strategy is perfect or not? Dilbert: You just said it's more important to spray your defective stuff on the universe than it is to get things right. CEO: "Spray my defective stuff?" Dilbert: Should I have waited for a perfect way to say that?
Boss: Experts say your slides should tell a story in pictures. Start with an image that captures the status of your project. Dilbert: How about this image of a clown with a broken watch? Boss: I was thinking eagle. Dilbert: Fine. Eagle. Boss: Now find an image that shows our technology strategy. Dilbert: How about this image of an old show in a storm drain? Boss: I was thinking pie chart. Dilbert: Fine. Boss: Now for the words. Dilbert: How about this image of a dictionary?
CEO: The secret to being a great leader is to zig when others zag. Dilbert: Coincidentally, that is the same strategy used by the insane. CEO: I should fire you for your insubordination. Dilbert: Or you could zig.
CEO: The board is getting on me for not having a succession plan. Find me a loser who is so incompetent that the board won't want to fire me. Boss: It's an honor to even be considered! Catbert: I was going to say that!
Wally: Asok, the key to winning at your job is the taper. Asok: Taper? Wally: At the start of any new job, you want to put in long hours and create a good first impression. Then you should start to gradually taper off your effort. But be sure you taper slowly. You don't want to be obvious. Boss: Wally, is it my imagination, or are you working slightly less every day? Wally: It only looks that way because I'm working smarter, not harder. Just the way you taught me. Boss: Okay, that sounds right. Wally: Always keep that round in the chamber. Asok: You scare me, but in a good way.
Wally: I'm already useless, but I'm thinking about becoming toxic as well. Dilbert: That seems ambitious for you. Wally: Think it through. As a useless person, I still get invited to meetings because I don't cause much trouble. But if I go full-toxic, no one will invite me to meetings in the first place. I can avoid a lot of work by nipping it in the bud. Dilbert: Is it hard to be toxic? How do you do it? Wally: It's easy. All you do is provide incomplete information that makes people anxious and hateful. I can't tell you what was said in that last meeting, but I defended you.
Wally: Can I create my own job? I hear people do that. They figure out what they are good at and then they create a job around it. I'm more of a strategic thinker than a worker bee. My job could be to attend meetings and say strategic things. And, of course, I would have no time to respond to email because I'd be busy being strategic. Boss: It feels as if you want a job that doesn't involve work. Wally: Would you trust a strategic thinker who can't solve his own problems?
Boss: I can only give you a 3% raise. If you want more, take it up with our CEO. Dilbert: I'd like to explain why I deserve more than a 3% raise. As a negotiating strategy, Dogbert will simultaneously read a media report about your lavish $85 million mansion. I invented three new technologies this year. Dogbert: "The toilets are solid gold." Dilbert: I wrote most of the code for our new product. Dogbert: "The helicopter pad is on the roof of the car museum." Dilbert: I worked eighty hours per week. Dogbert: "Every elevator has a full kitchen." Dilbert: I could earn more at Google or Apple... Dogbert: "Entire house rotates for optimal sun exposure." Dilbert: Do you see where I'm going with this? CEO: High-five?