The Peter principle states that a person who is competent at their job will earn a promotion to a position that requires different skills. If the promoted person lacks the skills required for the new role, they will be incompetent at the new level, and will not be promoted again.
If the person is competent in the new role, they will be promoted again and will continue to be promoted until reaching a level at which they are incompetent.
Being incompetent, the individual will not qualify for promotion again, and so will remain stuck at this final placement.
This outcome is inevitable, given enough time and enough positions in the hierarchy to which competent employees may be promoted.
The Peter principle is therefore expressed as: “In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.”
More importantly, this leads to Peter’s corollary: “In time, every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out its duties. (All from Wikipedia)
This would not be a Curmudgeon’s post without a reference to Australian politics. So here goes.
If we look at the 1940’s founded Liberal Party, we see the business conservatism which formed the basis of its existence. People being promoted until they could no longer perform their assigned duties. The only path for them was to leave, most commonly with a golden handshake or a sideways appointment into the Diplomatic corps.
In the past decade what has become apparent is that ALL Liberal Parliamentary and Party positions are finally filled with people who may well have been competent one step lower, yet are now occupied by those who have reached their level of incompetence. The standard business model accepts this as a natural part of business life and the best people still reach the top.
At least until there are no more best people. Or there is someone named ‘Peter’.
The ALP, on the other hand, founded in a battle with the Bosses back in the 1800’s, continues with its brutal and bloodthirsty habits. Any hint of weakness in its ranks is cut out without a second thought. To reach the top of the ALP requires ruthlessness and an acceptance of the Darwinian dictum of survival of the fittest.
No room for sympathy. Each day is a battle to hold your position.
The media love these battles because they are great theatre and can be used to prove how unsuitable these internally battling ALP members are for the leadership of Government.
There is no word given in the morning paper/TV news show of the growing incompetence inherent in the stable and predictable Liberal Party system, just a hailstorm of criticism of the training field for successful leadership which is the ever-renewing ALP.