It's got potential

Helicoptering Chinese death squads onto the roofs of failing retailers... It's Matthew Reeves

When I'm king of the world, I'm going to ban the concept of potential and the business process of formalised feedback.

We're all guilty of being driven by the idea of the personal, untapped well of oil which is our potential. Some stored up, ready-to-pounce capacity, ready to be unleashed. As a great person once said: we all imagine our own potential as walking into a vast mansion with a sweeping staircase, opulent detailing across the yellow, subtly paisley-patterned walls, which opens into a vast bedroom with a four-poster bed and chandelier. If we could actually see it, it'd be a squalid bedsit with damp and a lumpy mattress plopped on the floor.

Then there's the painful concept of feedback. Just reading the word gives me heartburn. It's the kind of initiative companies these days have implemented after some brown-corded baldy tried to find out how to get an MBA in ten seconds from the second floor of a market town bookshop. What he found out is that if one person could just tell someone how to perform a little more like him - and thereby unlock their potential - then everyone (that is, him) would be better off. A few small changes and soon we'll all be interchangeable. So here's to the average ones! Now let's all get on with our lives and wither like grapes in a raisin factory.

That's why I love it when companies call in the administrators to kill off all the dead wood. For a start they sound anything but average and so mysterious and cool, like a Chinese death squad, and in a way they are, though they're usually not Chinese (except, presumably, in China), and there are rarely any deaths. And when I'm king of the world, instead of administrators actually being people who deliberate over the quantity of P45s needed or how many branches of WHSmith to sell off, they're going to be seriously badass.

Administrators under my regime would be delivered by helicopter onto the roof, and have to literally abseil into whatever floundering out-of-town retail disaster had pissed it up the wall now. They also wouldn't be highly trained accountants with a penchant for detail. They'd be the kind of people who were close to being successful, took a risk, and screwed it all up. There's a bloke I know who turned down a buyout of his startup for $34 million because he was holding out for $50 million. In the end he had to settle for $0 million and an office job which he hates. He'd be perfect, apart from the abseiling because he's quite fat. In terms of potential, the kind of administrator I want is the kind of person who has staggered into their Savoy suite, puked on the bed, and got kicked out and charged extra for damaging the linens - that's what I call feedback.

Think of all the cool stuff that would happen if you mixed the 240 Comet stores and 240 teams of mavericks given a shot at redemption. The risk-takers of the world helping the tawdry. The motto would be: "Helping those, from the people who couldn't even help themselves."

Film it! It'd be better than The Apprentice. Comet's screwed anyway - at least their story, and others like it, has some potential as a disaster movie.

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