HR & Management
Super powers bosses wish they had to beat the competition
8 min read
08 January 2018
With heroes being all the rage, we asked the corporate world which super powers would help vanquish rivals.
The DC cinematic universe’s most recent glorifcation of super powers, Justice League, was met with mixed reactions, forcing some to question the certainty of future productions. Already, there are rumours of Ben Affleck being replaced as Batman. According to reviewers though, Aquaman, set for 2018, will likely blow expectations away.
This could be due to Jason Mamoa’s portrayal of the character, which earned him a place on The Graham Norton show. There, he suggested he would build a seafood restaurant and use Aquaman’s super powers to “catch fish and make sushi quickly.” Speedy service would give any business an advantage. But it isn’t a super power employers would normally choose to beat the competition.
The manipulation of human capabilities and objects
A fan of NBC’s Heroes, Josh Wilson, CEO of Wilson Worldwide Productions, believes Peter Petrelli’s gift of mimicking the knowledge, skills and traits of those in close proximity would be the ultimate game-changer. “I’d take the best traits from rivals,” he said. “They could never be superior as their knowledge would be my knowledge. If I was being badly treated by a competitor, my revenge would be to do it Sylar’s way instead.”
As the villain of Heroes, Sylar would cut someone’s head open to learn abilities directly from their brain. On a happier note, what if you could manipulate your own condition to your advantage? Increased endurance is what it’s about, according to Neil Davidson, MD of HeyHuman.
“Endurance, on par with X-Men’s Quicksilver, would help us achieve ambitious plans,” he said. “It would allow us to power through ‘to-do’ lists, keep the creative juices flowing and tackle client briefs in 48 hours, all without sleep!”
Manipulating the way people see you – or don’t see you – was also viewed as crucial to gaining the upper hand. Invisibility, Douglas Scott MD Kathryn Riley said, could be used as sneaky moral support. “It’s a daunting experience going for the role of your dreams, so we would be best positioned to guide clients.”
To change or alter the components of a product, “shapeshifting it,” would prove just as useful. The CEO of Heidi & Co, Heidi Martin, told Real Business: “I’d recycle rubbish in my office into new stock to sell. I’d never have to worry about producing jewellery quickly again. Selfishly, I’d also use it to make shoes!”
Crossing the constructs of time
There are numerous super powers that make use of time. There’s the ability to simply experience a moment in the future, for example. One who held it in high regard was Jenk Oz, founder of iCoolKid. “Fully experiencing a future moment would be the ultimate way to peek at trends, fashion, and tech churned out by competitors to come!” he said. “Delivering the next best thing before anyone else would be awesome!”
Lisa Wilson, head of tax at Cowgill Holloway, wanted to see into her own future, which would enable her to better plan for corporate growth. She explained: “The most visionary businesses create the future through innovation and new product development. You only have to look at Uber and Deliveroo to see this. If I could see into the future, whether it’s near or far, we’d be one step ahead.”
Knowing in that exact moment whether you were making a good or bad decision was cited by Gavin Mullins, CEO of Eooro.com. He pointed out that it would allow him to understand what’s happening and how to deal with it.
Mullins opined: “If I had such super powers, I would have been an early investor in bitcoin, bet on the Brexit vote and Donald Trump winning the US election. I would also have applied it effectively on my own business.”
Mind over matter
Aside from its more business-orientated uses, “reading the thoughts of others would just be ultra-cool,” exclaimed Ben Solomon, MD of Octavian IT Services. “We’d be fixing client issues without them asking and we’d know the next move of rivals. Knowledge is power, after all. We’d also have killer poker games.”
Simon Martin, CEO of OLIVER Group, on the other hand, wanted the full telepathy package, including the ability to transmit thoughts like X-Men’s Jean Grey: “It’s a little freaky, but it wouldn’t be used in a controlling way. It would let me cut to the chase and see what’s really going on, not to mention stay in contact with staff over long distances.”
Instantly creating trust was the weapon of choice for Marianne Page, author of Simple, Logical, Repeatable. She suggested that the initial “‘do I, don’t I?” moments of business deals delayed progress.
“The road to trust can be a long one,” she explained. “I’d love to snap my fingers and know you! Then I’m in! They hang on my every word and trust my influence, finally believing in their ability to fly!”
Nigel Davies, founder of Claromentis, wanted to manipulate technology using his mind. “With awareness of our software being the main barrier to world domination, I’d borrow the power of technopathy from Braniac, one of Superman’s enemies. I’d use it for good, just to get free advertising space on prominent electronic billboards. That’d take competitors down a peg or two.”
Buy the world
Not all heroes have super powers, some bosses remind, a concept made evident in both The Avengers and Justice League.
“Without a doubt, I covet the abilities of those without super powers,” said Mark Horneff, MD of Kuato Studios. “In particular, we’d like to have Iron Man technology. JARVIS puts most connected home systems to shame. More than that, we see the applicability of Iron Man’s suit in the gaming industry.”
Richard Morris, founding partner of Whistlejacket, had another of the comic book world’s businessmen in mind: “At one point in Justice League, Batman is asked what his superpower is.He replies ‘I’m rich’. I’ll go for that one. How will it help me beat the competition? Easy. I’ll buy them.”