Let Me Join Your Conspiracy Theory

Posted on July 31, 2019


I loved James Bond as a kid. I can tell I’m getting older, maybe a little grumpier, because in recent movies, I still root for James Bond to win, but the super-villain is starting to make a lot of sense.

James Bond villains don’t get enough respect. My background is in project management and I know it must take a lot of creativity, ambition and project management organizational skills to almost pull off a conspiracy in a world where everyone skims emails.

There’s always a moment at the end of a Bond movie when the villain is about to shoot James, and James is like, “But why? Why did you do it?” And the villain starts to explain his plan, his reasons for taking over the world, that people can’t be trusted and need to be manipulated for their own good, and I find myself nodding.

But you can tell James isn’t even listening. He’s looking at the door, looking at his watch and estimating how much time he has before a bomb goes off, counting the steps between himself and a henchman with a gun across the room.

And it absolutely drives me crazy when someone asks a question and doesn’t listen to the answer. I never want to be that fake friend who asks about your day, and you start talking about all the work you put into a project, and he’s all like, “Uh-huh. Yeah. Uh-huh,” but he keeps looking at the door and his watch and the man with a gun across the room.

And right in the middle of the villain’s speech–a speech James asked to hear–James interrupts. He kicks a henchman, somersaults to his gun, and I always shout at the screen, “Don’t shoot, James! Let him finish. Let’s first hear his leadership platform! Maybe he’s got some really good ideas!”

If the villain vows to establish a single worldwide electric plug standard so we don’t have to carry those stupid adapters everywhere, I say we give him a year.

If he promises to force all European countries to establish universal cheek kiss standards – Do we start on the left or the right? Is it one kiss, two kisses, three? I say we give him four years.

And if he vows to force Americans to learn the metric system or be tasered, I say we make him dictator for life.

Is it so crazy that a super-villain might have a couple good ideas?

How can someone make billions of dollars, manage a complex underworld of thousands of employees and the corresponding recruitment and training and healthcare and pensions and have nothing to teach us about business or human resources?

How can someone build spaceships, satellites and lasers on time and on budget and in secret without any labor union issues, and not have any wisdom to share about project management? Did he use a specialized construction management system? Or perhaps a hybrid of Waterfall or Agile or Scrum or Kanban?    

But James Bond hears “conspiracy” and “taking over the world” and he automatically gives himself permission to not listen.  

The world is full of conspiracy theorists. We love stories about the person who discovers and exposes a conspiracy. James Bond gets all the applause for discovering the scheme—often accidentally—and being the blunt instrument that tears apart the thousands of delicately-braided threads of a conspiracy masterpiece.

But I don’t want to be the kind of person who’s content to merely criticize other people’s conspiracies. I want to create my own.




Posted in: humor