The cement truck metaphor


Years ago, I devised a metaphor for business that helps to illustrate two defining characteristics of a healthy organization.

Let’s express it in the form of a question:

“What would happen around here if [name of employee] were run over by a cement truck while driving to work today?”

1. Healthy organizations do not tolerate so-called “indispensable” employees.

Why? Because they invariably create bottlenecks of information and activity. There are serious problems if they are suddenly unavailable. A healthy organization is transparent.

2. They require all supervisors to develop at least one person (preferably two or three) who can replace them immediately, if necessary, at least on an interim basis.

Healthy organizations accelerate personal growth and professional development at all levels and in all areas. How? Through effective supervision by people who are caring as well as competent.

Seamless succession drives organizational success.

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