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Office Hours

Wed., Feb. 13, 2013, 11:36 a.m.

What can businesses really really learn from how the Pope is chosen

The most overused pitch sent to the media by business PR people is the standard "what can business leaders learn from ...... FILL IN THE BLANK..."

Today's version: "Speculation mounts over next Pope. What can business leaders and managers learn from the selection process."

I'll spare you the elaborate effort to justify that offering.

Here are some additional off-the-wall connections I drew between electing the next pontiff and operating a business:

Plan your corporate meetings and annual meetings in a large public square. The CEO stands on the balcony, waving his or her arms a lot, talking to those down below.

Surround the main headquarters with a "security" team who wear helmets and pantaloons. But call them your Swedish Guard, to avoid trademark infringement.

Give your employees an extra holiday at the end of the year because that's when you really have to mail those Christmas fruitcakes and get ready for your Annual Midnight Mass.

Issue any restated financial statements in Latin, so that the analysts won't be able to ask a lot of questions during a conference call.

Develop a spin-off investment arm to help new companies get started. Call it your Angelic Investor Fund.


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Tom Sowa
Tom Sowa covers technology, retail and economic development and writes the Office Hours blog.