Unbusinessy




Ensure Your Business Survives the Zombie ApocalypseCartoon: Zombies invade business

By Jeffrey Baumgartner

How to Ensure Your Business Survives the Zombie Apocalypse

By Jeffrey Baumgartner

I recently conducted an informal poll among businesspeople having drinks in a British Airways lounge and was shocked to discover that not one of them had a contingency plan for dealing with a zombie apocalypse. Some of them even laughed at my question!

This attitude is disappointing. After the zombie apocalypse, it will be up to business leaders to rebuild the global economy. We certainly cannot count on on politicians to put things right. A recent survey, carried out by a major, international research company, found that 83.2% of people polled were unable to distinguish between a mindless, brain-eating zombie and a typical politician.

This means that when the zombie apocalypse comes, it will be up to business leaders like you to save your business and, very possibly, the world. But don't worry, here's all the advice you need to survive and possibly thrive in a zombie attack.

Prioritise People − But Only the Right People

Your people are your most important asset. But, let us be honest. Some of those people are way more useful and cost effective than others.

In the event that a mob of zombies attacks your organisation, your first line of defense should be management consultants − not because they are particularly good fighters, but because they are not on your payroll, are usually insured separately and, let us be honest here, the world would not suffer greatly from the loss of a few management consultants.

Backing up the consultants should be employees you would dismiss if labour laws were more friendly in your jurisdiction. 

Next in your line of defense should be temporary workers who are typically employed by an agency that is responsible for their salary, insurance and explaining to their loved ones that they've been devoured by zombies. This just makes cleaning up easier for you.

You may believe that interns would also be dispensable; and a few years ago you would have been right. But, these days, it is politically incorrect to be careless with interns.

Recommended action: place consultants and less than desirable employees near main entrances in your buildings and place temporary staff between them and more valued employees.

Weapons

Jeffrey wields chainsawIf you have paid attention to the literature on zombie apocalypses (in particular, George A. Romero's fine zombie documentaries films), you will know that shooting a zombie is pointless. At best it won't feel a thing. At worst, you will irritate it and it will eat you. Instead, you need to lop a zombie's head off if you want to kill it. Anything else just makes a mess and increases danger to you.

Traditionalists recommend using an axe to decapitate a zombie. However, swinging an axe is harder work than most people realise, particularly if they have been neglecting their gym memberships. I feel a chainsaw is better weapon. It requires less brute strength and, if you are lucky, one long swing can take down multiple zombies. Needless-to-say, use a petrol (gasoline) engine chainsaw rather than an electrical one. If the power goes out during the invasion, an electrical chainsaw is about as useful as a toothbrush for slaughtering zombies.

Recommended action: be sure to keep well maintained, petrol engine chainsaws in the executive suite and other key locations in your buildings. Hire a lumberjack to teach the management team how to use it.

Preventative Measures

According to the literature, a zombie apocalypse would almost certainly be the result of a mutant viral infection. Fortunately, unless you run a pharmaceutical company, you are unlikely to have employees messing with mutant viruses on your premises, so there is little danger of the zombie infection starting inside your company. If you do run a pharma company, however, you should locate your R&D division in a separate building far away from HQ and hire a management consultant to run it.

Even if your company is not involved in pharmaceuticals, you are not safe. Not at all! Employees could become infected at home, while out with friends or while participating in the sort of naughty activities we all know go on at professional seminars and conferences. So, remind your employees to stay home if they are seriously ill, particularly if they experience symptoms such as rotting flesh, uncontrolled rage and a desire to eat colleagues' brains.

Tip: if your employees show early signs of becoming zombies, you can exploit this situation to deal with bothersome competitors: send infected employees to visit competitors' offices posing as eager customers. Once inside your competitor's premises, the zombies to be will wreck the kind of havoc that ensures the competition will not be a challenge for a long time. Of course, your competitors may also be reading this article, so if your sales team is ever visited by prospective clients whose flesh is falling off, be wary. Be very wary.

Recommended action: keep potentially infected employees out of your office, but encourage them to visit competitors.

Exploitation

A major assumption we make about zombies is that they are only capable of causing havoc, eating people's brains and smelling bad. However, I believe that with proper training, zombies could be taught to perform intellectually undemanding tasks such as cleaning, carrying heavy objects and preparing PowerPoint presentations.

Better still, because zombies are considered corpses in most jurisdictions, they are exempt from labour laws – meaning you could employ a team of zombies for little cost beyond that of providing basic meals of human brains − in other words, only slightly more than you pay interns, but zombies are less likely to whine about inhumane treatment.

Recommended action: if you work with a training services provider, enquire about their experience in training zombies. Also, check with your canteen service about the availability of brains.

Be Prepared

Being prepared for the zombie apocalypse does not require a lot of action and it is worth it. It could make all the difference between your company surviving the onslaught and your brains being suck out through your nose by an undead marketing manager.

Be Really Prepared (Self-Promotion)

The theme of this article makes for a highly entertaining keynote talk that could save your and your colleagues' lives in the event of a zombie invasion. If you want to liven up an event and prepare people for the zombie apocalypse, I suggest you contact me sooner rather than later or learn more about this and other workshops and keynotes here!

This talk could also form the basis of an interactive workshop on being prepared for unpredictable challenges. Get in touch to discuss.

 

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