Peter’s Face Here

Even in an economic and industrial structure moving rapidly toward the destination where being “good” isn’t nearly good enough, there are still people named Peter in our lives, influencing our decisions.


In conflict, people named Peter rarely engage with difficulty or confrontation, much less conflict. They prefer to avoid the whole thing and stay in the comfortable box of their assumptions and preconceived notions.

In an organization, people named Peter still tend to fail upward in a race to the bottom around mediocrity and incompetence.

In an economic and industrial structure increasingly based around collaboration and openness, people named Peter exhibit an disturbing tendency to remain competitive and closed—and seem to be succeeding tremendously if stock prices are to be believed.

Shocking incompetence, wide ranging mediocrity, selfish competition—these seem to be the catalysts for growth even as competent, skillful, open disruption continues to flood the market with goods, services and ideas.

People named Peter should take note, as should people not named Peter: in the economies of scale of the likely future, the Peter Principle—working toward a personal level of incompetence, and working toward the level of management’s incompetence—will no longer apply.

And then people named Peter—along with other bad and incompetent actors in our midst—will have to either adapt, or perish.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
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