We have our work cut out for us. The gods and goddess of Mount Olympus have never worked with outside consultants before, not even an executive coach. They don’t have any formalized HR processes, no handbook or succession plan–not even a mission or values statement. It’s hard to imagine what they’ve been doing over the past few millennia. It’s as if they’ve never thought about HR before contacting us. No wonder they’ve lost their way.
· Equality: B+. Goddesses are generally equal to gods, though the three most powerful deities are men. Athena and Hera are well liked but don’t have the kind of power that Zeus, Poseidon and Hades wield. After several millennia, it’s time to add a woman to that group.
· Diversity: D-. Can’t sugarcoat this. Except for token centaurs, there’s a serious lack of diversity on Mount Olympus. The old recruiting process, which traditionally favored family members, must be updated. Posting open positions on job boards like Monster.com (note: confirm they are aware this is not for real monsters) should bring in some prospective gods of color. A short-term fix: consider conducting an exchange program with an Egyptian god.
· Benefits: A+. This is where Olympus shines: The benefits are the best we’ve ever seen. The gods and goddesses get eternal life without getting sick or frail in old age. For example, fleet-footed Hermes won’t ever be bound to a walker or wheelchair. (We’ve got to find out who’s their provider.)
· Corporate Culture: C-: I’ve never seen so much dysfunction. We’ve got to hold several team-building off-sites to reduce workplace conflicts. Also it would help to upgrade their tech infrastructure to create a culture of collaboration. This may be a challenge because they’re strangely resistant to cloud computing and they’re not used to being held accountable.
For all their power, they can be emotionally needy and narcissistic, requiring constant external approval.
· They’re still bitter that the Roman gods stole their identities and named the planets after themselves. Zeus was muttering when JW, making small talk, referred to his vacation home in Jupiter, FL, and got crackling mad after Osborn, who’s from Nashville, mentioned being a big Tennessee Titans fan. Apollo didn’t mind talking about going into space but Ares didn’t want to hear about a mission to Mars. (Which reminds me: Next time, Milky Ways are fine for snacks but don’t get Mars bars. Oh, and Poseidon loves Trident gum.)
· That said, they were more understanding than you might expect. When Durstin walked in late, complaining about making his morning commute in his ancient Honda Odyssey, Athena seemed to speak for them all when she said, “Odysseys can take a long time.”
· It’s important to let everyone have a chance to weigh in, particularly Ares because he has anger issues. But Zeus gets to make the final decision because he’s the rainmaker.
· Listen to Apollo: Not only because he’s the god who got the others to agree to bring us in to professionalize their HR processes but as god of prophecy, he has a good sense of what’s to come.
· Athena has great ideas. But don’t refer to the newly redesigned conference room as “Spartan” or she’ll refuse to sit there.
· Poseidon is surprisingly fiscally conscious. Whenever we mentioned out-of-pocket items, he kept asking about net costs.
· All I can say about Hades is that he’s clearly a client from hell.
· Let Morpheus speak. His long-winded digressions will put you to sleep.
· Place any of them on hold when they call. They don’t like that the music comes from Pandora.
· Accept Dionysus’ offer to cater the next brainstorm or you’ll never get anything done. The first session was two days ago, and I still can’t see straight. Instead, a safer bet is probably Demeter, goddess of the harvest.
· Develop a strategic plan focused on realistic shorter-term goals, defined as between two and five years, not 500 years (as Hades suggested).
· Consider restructuring: Does having a god of war send the right message? (Ought to check with marketing on that, if they have in-house marketing.)
· Meet with Linda when she gets back. She rightly felt it highly inappropriate of Ares to talk about, “finding all those Trojans in the water.”
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