Workish Avengers, assemble… for the Monday morning staff meeting

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According to a study in the Harvard Business Review, aka Our Primary Source for Starting Columns at Workish, approximately 7% of companies are in a state of free fall and bracing for disruption.

A common response by executives at these companies is to hire outside consultants to evolve business models, evaluate systems, and redefine market priorities.

Hiring external advisors can be tricky: leaders often fear exposure to internal inefficiencies or, even worse, engaging experts who lack the right experience, problem solving skills or institutional knowledge of fridge-cleaning etiquette.

But help may be on the way.

As the world prepares for the Avengers: Endgame finale, superheroes long tied to Marvel’s cinematic juggernaut may suddenly discover that their previously packed calendars are now empty, thanks to the final snap of Thanos’ finger.

Accordingly, businesses seeking a competitive edge in today’s age of infinite disruption will soon be staking their ground to hire newly available Marvel characters. With that in mind, here’s some curricula vitae to consider for your next recruiting fair at Sokovia.

Steve Rogers (aka Captain America)

When navigating sticky leadership transitions, look for a consultant with an old-fashioned sense of authenticity. Rogers brings superior agility to high-level negotiations, and his ability to listen helps maneuver org chart revisions. Though he’s not afraid of tough messages and new mandates, his analog approach to feedback may seem archaic…but Vibranium, it turns out, is a tad more resistant than an iPhone XR. Ask about his new book: Breaking the Ice: from Shields to Swipe Cards, due this winter.

Nick Fury (Dir.: Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division)

The ultimate operational fixer, Nick Fury successfully managed infighting among the world’s most highly skilled A-Teamers. With Fury, details matter: his subject matter expertise helped re-ignite the Avengers Initiative, keeping the World Security Council from offing a city after Loki stole the Tesseract, a valuable application for trade secret assurance. He’s a master of lean project management, but doesn’t always “walk the walk” on resource conservation. Fury will offer one outside eye for fast iteration, though if you’re slow to adopt his recommendations, he might disappear like…well, you know. A cloud of dust.

Dr. Bruce Banner, Ph.D. (aka The Hulk)

A genius scientist, Dr. Banner provides a sense of calm when discussing process improvements, giving you an empathetic green leg up to bust the abomination. Adept at corporate relocations, the multi-Ph.D. recipient isn’t afraid to field test solutions before company-wide roll-outs. But buyer beware: known for a “no BS” approach, his gamma-radiated alter ego will smash down silos, leaving clients to pick up the pieces after his tenure has expired.

Carol Danvers (aka Captain Marvel)

A highly sought-after turnaround authority, Carol Danvers is the Marvel-est of corporate consultants… if you can track her down. With superhuman strength, this former U.S. Air Force Officer flies at six times the speed of sound, making her available for literally any meeting at any time. Her Seventh Sense enables her to predict future economic trends, and when it comes to corporate governance, she’ll follow regulations to the letter of the (Jude) law. Caution: her ‘90’s approach to comp policy is a bit dated, and she still uses a pager.

Doctor Stephen Strange (aka Doctor Strange)

Though the whereabouts of this formerly renowned surgeon are often unknown, if you need help in a PR crisis, look no further than Doctor Strange: his mastery of time manipulation empowers him to turn back the clock and un-send that email, or edit that press quote just one more time. He’ll also create portals to align communication with satellite offices. But watch-out: he’ll constantly request an endorsement for “spells” on LinkedIn.

Finally, Natasha Romanova (aka Black Widow) supervises conflict resolution with ease; Clint Barton (aka Hawkeye)’s attention to detail hits the redline bullseye; Pepper Potts’ expertise can remold iron-clad vendor deals, and Vision’s Six Sigma Mind Stone Certification earns diamond-like organizational perfection.

Above all, avoid hiring Loki as an interim change agent: though he flies for free on Bifrost Airlines, the God of Mischief never updates his out of office alerts, sends calls to voice mail, and codes receipts to “Biz Dev.”

Originally published in The Message.