Saturday, October 9, 2010

That's what she said!

I was thinking about The Office. I love that show and watch it at every opportunity. I watch reruns again and again. It's like the horrifying crash scene that you can't turn away from, and seeing it makes you so grateful that, for the moment, you're safe. But I know that work places like the one portrayed in the show actually exist, and anyone could unknowingly stumble into such a situation as a new employee, like poor Erin.

Anyway, I was trying to measure Dunder Mifflin's Scranton office as a test bed for work place collaboration. My first thought was that it was the perfect example of discord and a complete absence of collaboration. But of course, on closer inspection it's easy to see that there is actually lots of collaboration happening. Pam and Jim collaborate to punk Dwight; the party planning committee collaborates to develop inappropriately themed events; the warehouse staff collaborates to intimidate Michael; the office staff collaborates to mollify Michael. But none of these collaborations, though endlessly entertaining, furthers the mission of the organization. So when is collaboration not a good thing? When it's actually collusion. So The Office turns out to be a great example of this distinction. I knew I'd find some redeeming value in this morbid addiction!

Share your favorite Office example of collusion. C'mon, it's not that hard!

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