Job Title: Stupid Hunter

by Dwayne Phillips

I’m not sure what the job title is, but every organization needs a person whose job it is to find the stupid that is hindering everyone.

I have seen this every place I have worked. Somewhere in the greater organization, people — often smart, loving, caring people — are doing something that is just plain stupid. They have to do it as the culture forces them to, but they are still doing something that is just plain stupid. They can’t stop the stupid, because they don’t have the authority.

Hence, every large organization needs a Stupid Hunter. The Stupid Hunter digs through details as you can’t find the stupid without digging through details. Eventually, the Stupid Hunter will find the stupid. For example,

Some people doing nothing, and hating the boredom, while others are working 60 hours a week. Budget people making engineering decisions alone. Engineers making budget decisions alone. Project schedules that have tasks ending before they start. People writing memos to other people who sit three feet away instead of talking to them. And so on…

Once the Stupid Hunter finds the stupid, the Stupid Hunter reports it to a person who has the authority and the will the wipe out the stupid. Once the stupid is gone, the organization functions much better, the people are happier, and life moves along smoother.

There are several problems with having a Stupid Hunter. One is that someone has to admit that stupid exists. That takes more humility than most people possess. Another is that people have to tolerate the Stupid Hunter asking them questions. Often the Stupid Hunter becomes a pain in the rear as the Stupid Hunter continues to ask and ask and ask and…

Finally, the people in the organization have to change once the Stupid Hunter finds the prey. You would think that people would be happy to rid themselves of stupid, but that is one of the things about stupid — it just seems to stay.