Kiran’s Hierarchy of ‘Strategic Nonsense’

A few years ago, I was taught a theory which had revolutionized the field of behavioral sciences back then. It was called the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Abraham Maslow developed a model in which basic, low-level needs such as physiological requirements and safety must be satisfied before higher-level needs such as self-fulfillment are pursued. In this hierarchical model, when a need is mostly satisfied it no longer motivates and the next higher need takes its place.

Maslow’s Hierarchy:



Similarly, circa 2008, there has been an effort to publish a fantastic theory after tons and tons of effort (i.e., after generous amounts of drooling over Ayesha Jhulka in JJWS and breaking my head over a Quentin’s movie, Deathproof) which talked about the bread and butter of corporate lifestyle, ‘outstanding gibberish’ (colloquially also known as bullshitting, crap, baloney, drivel and various other 4-letter words). The author, after due consideration over a box of chips, concluded that ‘crap’ cannot be classified under a hierarchy but the tools to generate this crap definitely can. What’s more – he also intelligently deciphered that he uses many of these tools quite liberally, primarily to feed himself if not to write insane theories like this one.

The theory (as indicated in the figure below) states that the more nonsense you want to speak, the higher you go up the hierarchy. The effort of every corporate employee should be to step up each level, without which the primary and lofty objective of speaking rubbish all the time wouldn’t be achieved (and in fruition for that effort, this theory should be mandatory in all HR initiation programmes). Refer the diagram below –

My Hierarchy:



The figure in itself should be self-explanatory. But since the author is already at the highest level, he can’t but help reiterate and explain the self-explanatory figure in a verbose manner for the next few paragraphs.

Level 1: These are the most basic tools that are used by anyone and everyone today. Tools, without which most of the corporations won’t survive, let alone flourish. These tools are comparable to Maslow’s 1st level – basic physiological needs, without which a man can’t proceed to the next level in either of the hierarchies. Especially, Solitaire in the author’s hierarchy.

Level 2: This is the introductory and crash course to ‘ridiculous garbage’ at the corporate level. People who are at this level need to be careful to speak their mind (in other words, total crap) since they need to back it up with numbers (else, your situation would be similar to Tushaar kapoor’s in Terminator 4 – badly beaten up, beyond recognition!!). Numbers could be fudged, but they (the ‘evil’ auditors) can easily make out and throw you out of this cozy corporate world into the big bad world. However, this is a very good introductory course – comparable to Maslow’s Safety needs – whenever in trouble, fudge and fall back on this level – it is an awesome safety net and most people fear to tread at this level. (If ever you get bored of looking at those 65536 cells, search for ‘Excel games’ in Google 😉 )

Level 3: An advanced course, and a definite signal that you are on your way to be knighted very soon with ‘Legendary bullshitter’ title. Hardwork is a necessity though at this level. Understanding numbers and translating them into reams and reams of paragraphs, the sole objective being – to be seen by all but not to be read by any one. A few diagrams (from Level 1) and some tables (from Level 2) constitute the basis for Level 3 – and as they say in Mathematics, they are necessary but not sufficient. Your written skills would be tested here – how lengthy can you write, how confusing can you write, how verbose can you be and can you use all the GRE words learnt in this document. A challenging assignment neverthless. Again, definitely comparable to Maslow’s Social needs – sense of belonging and acceptance to the ‘League of Extraordinary Ridiculous People’!!

Level 4: The ultimate, The highest, The best and my verbal ability falls short of superlatives for this tool. ‘It all depends on the way you present data’ – in other words ‘You can fudge all you want, but get me a positive decision’ – if you are in this kind of world, then this is the tool for you. The more you want to speak nonsense, the more you want to explain self-explanatory diagrams in a verbose manner (like this one), the more you want to spend corporate time having fun by moving text from left to right or zigzag around – the more you belong to this level. As I said before and I reiterate (that is because I have nothing else to say), if you want to be considered as one of the ‘kids with potential to become a CEO’ – you exactly understand that this is the proficiency you need – oratory and powerpoint skills. The most abused tool of the lot (as a side note, I once had one of my colleagues present 16 graphs on a single slide!!), definitely comparable to Maslow’s Esteem and Self-actualisation levels put to-gether. Proficiency and expertise at this level would confer you with the title of ‘Legendary Bullshitter Mr./Ms.’ and you would be royally drafted into the ‘League of Extraordinary Ridiculous People’.


3 comments so far

  1. Procrastinx on

    ROTFL … this one is perfect.

  2. Adastrian on


    This one was very well thought and absolutely hilarious [:)]

  3. Kiran on

    @Procastinx – Thanks man!

    @Adastrian – Thankus!

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