T80pxtreeo misquote Raymond Chandler, it was the sort of brainstorming ‘to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained glass window’.

Nothing was out of bounds, people were deliciously mischievous, and the future was re-imagined.

A whole new structure.

And they were pretty sure about it.

A new elite troubleshooting team would be formed to work on the top tricky clients.
Recruited from high achievers across the business, they would be dedicated to the high spending customers, but ready to swoop in and sort out other client problems too. The team would be rewarded highly, with frequent surprise bonuses, and visible goals and successes would be shared and broadcast around the business.

It would be Top Fun to be selected to be part of this team, who would have their own little separate HQ.

Look, I was there to observe. And yes, it did sound a bit weird.

It was only a couple of days later, reading (in the interests of understanding a little more about human nature) about the design of gambling clubs, that the reason for the discomfort dawned on me.  It would appear that there really are only a few conditions that need to be in place to create quite deep seated addiction, quite quickly.

  • repetition coupled with random re-inforcement (a familiar business model, no?)
  • extrinsic goals (squeeze out any time for reflection on intrinsic goals such as meaning, or other forms of fulfillment)
  • isolate, cut off from social ties and bonds, create a ‘special’ world (reduce any opportunity to experience the different, possibly more grounded, perspectives of those ‘not in the club’)

It’s a worry, isn’t it?  Have we all been led into a success enchantment?

Is being a ‘high achiever’ just another form of addiction?

(Would love another coffee, thank you)

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