Zombie Alert!


Beware! Zombies are amongst us. They are found everywhere, including our work.

Watch out and be careful because zombies don’t care about your messages, your goals, or your plans. They don’t care to add real value, to work hard enough to make real change, or be better themselves. Oh, they may act interested. Maybe. But it is my experience that zombies are pretty good at faking interest as a way to lull you into their zombie lifestyle. Talk about it alot but do little or nothing. It is the zombie way to grow their numbers.

The zombie work and thinking schedule goes something like this:

  • Monday: Go to work. Do same tasks. Leave.
  • Tuesday: Go to work. Do same tasks. Leave.
  • Wednesday: Go to work. Do same tasks. Leave.
  • Thursday: Go to work. Do same tasks. Leave.
  • Friday: Go to work. Do same tasks. Leave.
  • (I’ll leave the weekend and after-work zombie schedule to those more familiar with zombie recreational habits, although I would guess it involves many hours of television, video games, and/or FaceBook.)

Zombies are a danger to your career, your dreams, and your business. When you suggest change, they automatically resist. When you have a better way to do something, they don’t care.

When a business is failing and going down in flames, the zombies will barely notice and hang on to the bitter end if you let them. Many times, they are the only ones left when the doors close for good. And not because they were loyal. No, to find another job before having absolutely no other choice is something that requires effort and initiative.

Ever been involved in a company employee layoff that was expected? Did you notice the zombies who had talked about the likely layoff for weeks were still genuinely surprised to lose their job. It is not as if all that unproductive company time (and payroll) talking about layoffs was of much help to the business. Zombies can kill a business as easily as your dreams.

Zombies love the phrase, “That’s how we’ve always done it,” even if such behavior leads to eventual failure. This mindset is comforting to the zombies because it is a great way to avoid effort and thinking (both apparently taboo in the zombie society).

Zombies are great at ignoring others. Have a new idea? A new technology? A great way to improve customer service? A new process to help scale your operations? Zombies don’t care. To care, would require they first pay attention and then, oh no, follow instructions, take action, or work toward a greater success.

If you try to force change on the zombies, they would rather eat you than follow your instructions or ideas for change. Oh, they probably won’t say it. But that does not mean they have not considered it.

Of course, occasionally a zombie will try to use “change” as a tool for preserving the zombie nation. They do this by inducing counter-productive or unplanned changes that, over time, look like action but rarely result in progress. This keeps everyone moving around, looking busy and less dead. Over time, everyone is where they started or, worse, left behind by those that have overcome their zombies and moved along.

Now, here’s the kicker. How often are you a zombie? And what plans and dreams does it cost you?


About the Author

Glenn S. Phillips works with leaders who want to leverage technology and understand risks within. An author and blogger, Glenn is often quoted in national media, plays a really ugly tuba (it even has a bullet hole) and is a fan of dark chocolate and great puns.