LOST was a good example of bad succession planning

In the end, I suppose things turned out okay for the mysterious island and, apparently, humanity.  But, there were some dicey moments.  Had Jacob done a better job at succession planning the island would likely have never been in danger, but I’m sure the TV series would not have been nearly as interesting.

LOST exhibits many of the characteristics of bad succession planning.  Candidates for the job didn’t know they were up for the job nor did they know the job existed.  The job description was sketchy and the traits on which the candidates were evaluated on were too narrow.   In the end, the job transition wasn’t smooth and the there was a time when there was way too much at stake.

Unfortunately, something resembling this bad succession planning or worse occurs at many organizations.

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Lost is over.  Here’s an interesting post from Tyler Cowen about the final episode.

Here’s the comment I posted on his blog:

It’s a TV show. I enjoyed, I liked it. I’m glad it’s over so non-Losties in my vicinity won’t think ill of me for talking about smoke monsters, frozen donkey wheels, pockets of energy anymore.

I don’t believe Lucas knew Darth Vader would pop when the first Star Wars came out. DV did pop and I believe that helped Lucas focus the story around that moral equivalent flunkie. But it worked. People love that story and how it was told. I enjoy watching the Clone Wars (with my son, of course!) thinking it’s pretty cool that I first heard about the Clone Wars decades ago as something that happened “long ago”, and now here I am watching those stories unfold decades later with my kid.

The thing that bugs me about the ending of Lost is that they didn’t attempt to explain any of the stuff that was popping. Perhaps like the Clone Wars, we’ll be watching a cartoon series in a couple of decades about what the Island is.

I struggled with figuring out what David’s character was. Ultimately, I think he was a decoy to make the obvious a little less obvious.

I also interpreted the ending shot as – they died in the crash – but thought that was in direct conflict with Christian’s, Hugo’s and Kate’s lines, as others pointed out. I believe it was just a final set shot of “where it all started”, outside the fiction of the show and showing that it’s not active now as they all get ready to go onto what’s next for them.

I am thankful that Lost got me to explore some books. I recommend “The Third Policeman” by Flann O’Brien. It contains variations of many elements that made it into the show, even perhaps into the final show. It’s a quick read and it’s funny.