What if a startup hired only Harry Potter characters? What would the organisation chart look like? What roles would our beloved characters take up?Shivasankari Bhuvaneswaran
It has been two magical decades since our favourite fandom hit the bookshelves. While my fellow Potterheads are celebrating this moment, I wanted to take a moment to appreciate this incredible milestone in my style.
When I was pondering on how to incorporate my favorite series into our blog posts, I overheard a discussion about lifting the hiring freeze to recruit a new developer for our firm. From what I heard, they were quite specific about the characteristics of prospective candidates.
This conversation gave me an impromptu flash of inspiration. The inspiration led to a daydream. (Hopefully, my boss overlooks this!)
What if a startup hired only the characters from Harry Potter? Wouldn’t that make the perfect team? (lets out a long sigh..) What would the organization chart look like? What roles would our beloved characters take up? Here’s what we came up with.
Note: I’m pretty sure a few are feeling quite a bit outraged or baffled at my choices. Please read the article completely before you jump to a conclusion.
She is funny and easygoing by nature but is capable of channelling a fierce warrior when the situation demands it. Her metamorphmagus skills may portray her as someone who doesn’t want to blend in, but her characteristic traits would tell us a different story.
Our cheerful Hufflepuff is persistent and pragmatic enough to go after what she wants. She doesn’t let anyone’s doubt stop her from having a beautiful, albeit temporary life.
“My Head of House said I lacked certain necessary qualities…like the ability to behave myself”
Her determination and persistence revamped her from a playful young adult into a seasoned warrior over the course of the series.
A software developer is much more than the sum of programming languages and technologies they’ve worked on. A smart alec developer like Tonks would be technically strong, empathetic enough to look at an issue from the end user’s perspective, flexible for adapting to new technologies depending on the scope of the project.
In addition to the love for code, they ought to be bold enough to face challenges head with a clear head and a mature mind, that the best solution may not always be the right one.
Don’t you dare call her loony! Now that we’ve settled it let’s get back to the blog.
If you look beyond her radish earrings and ludicrous dresses, you will find her to be an abstract artist who stands out in a crowd full of wizarding cloaks and dress robes.
She displays an array of quirky mannerisms and has a distinctive sense of style. We got to see that first-hand from the hand-painted portrait of her friends.
While those portraits showcase the artistic ability, her unique creations like the butterbeer cork necklace and the roaring Gryffindor lion hat expresses her out-of-box style.
“Don’t worry, you’re just as sane as I am.”
Luna might seem like an odd egg at times, but her uncanny though process, level-headedness and off-beat approach to life would make her an effective addition to your team. She could give your organisation the much-needed breakthrough with her eccentric yet innovative designs.
In addition to the mandatory artistic ability, a good graphic designer should be imaginative, and truly passionate about bringing an idea to life through their design. That is why I believe Luna would be an exemplary candidate.
A few readers may think that I’m off my rocker for choosing Sirius as the Technical lead. “A marauder in a managerial position? Woman! Are you mad?” No, I’m not. My mother had me tested like Sheldon’s mom 😉 So, please hear me out before you jump to conclusions.
Sirius is not just a rugged looking bad boy with a good heart. Just as his name Sirius (brightest star, the dog star) denotes, he was one of the most brilliant Hogwarts Alumni. Technically he was damn high, though his ethical meter tended to go a bit off centre at times due to petty rivalries, his integrity was completely intact.
“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”
His jovial attitude would help him build a great rapport with his team members, and his charismatic character would help him keep things light and create a positive vibe that encourages team members to work hard just to get a word of appreciation from him. (Not fangirling! It’s true.)
Team members would be ready to stretch themselves thin for a friendly team leader who doesn’t hesitate to leverage his influence and power to take care, promote and serve his team. So, I would bet all the gold in Gringotts that Sirius would seriously be the right choice!
I can definitely feel your disbelief. McGonagall is a tough cookie, quite the fierce lioness with a sarcastic sense of humor. But, how would she make up a good HR Manager?
She has a keen eye for spotting hidden talents and encourages the gifted wizards/witches to work hard on cultivating them. Harry would never have become the youngest seeker in a century if she had never spotted his talent.
When Hogwarts was getting ready for the battle and the team came up with the idea to blow up the Wooden Bridge, it was Minerva who instantly suggested Seamus for the job considering his proclivity for pyrotechnics, by remembering the times he blew things up.
“Why don’t you confer with Mr. Finnigan? As I recall, he has a particular proclivity for pyrotechnics. ”
She takes up the initiative to save Hogwarts when Snape flees, is resourceful, has a depth of perception and the intellectual integrity to remain unbiased (You can’t visit Hogsmeade without the permission form, even if you are Harry Potter, one of her favorites).
She has a keen sense of timing and tries to dissolve conflicts before they become unmanageable, knows how to motivate employees, (just being compassionate and offering your employees a biscuit with some sound advice could help you prevent disasters, provided that your employee is not Harry Potter).
In short, McGonagall is the right candidate to be a consummate HR manager who could remain impartial with an ability to plan strategically ahead and dedicate herself to work for the betterment of the employee and the company.
Hagrid may be a half giant but most of the times is an overgrown kid with a tender heart. He is much more than what we perceive him to be.
He may seem disorganised and messy in general, but his hardworking nature, willingness to help anyone and everyone, readiness to pitch in anytime, indifferent attitude and commitment in completing even a menial task assigned to him makes him our ideal candidate.
“What’s comin’ will come, an’ we’ll meet it when it does.”
His approach might seem unprofessional, but you gotta agree with me that he would exceed our expectations. If Dumbledore would trust his life with Hagrid, why can’t we trust him to provide administrative support for our organisation?
Well, that was a bit obvious, wasn’t it? Percy could be an obnoxious prat at times, but you gotta agree on the fact that no one else would have memorized a rule book from cover to cover.
To people who think he has integrity issue, yes, I agree that he is not the perfect prefect he portrayed to be. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that he is inherently bad. He might have messed up his priorities.
Perhaps, his ambition won over his family loyalty, but he did figure out what really mattered and proved us that his heart was in the right place all along.
‘I was an idiot, I was a pompous prat, I was a – a -‘
Yes, he is a pompous know-it-all, a goody two shoes, who has a fetish for rules and love for power. But his equally infuriating nature of abiding by the rule book would keep your organisation safe from legal repercussions.
Apart from being over ambitious and far too dedicated, his discipline approach and diplomacy is bound to rub off on us. Also, his bookaholic nature and ability to work under pressure would come in handy whenever he needs to stop your firm from drowning in a legal quicksand.
Yes, Lockhart is pompous, incredibly vain, and a fraud to boot. But, when it comes to self-promoting techniques, he is a pro. In his tenure as a defense against dark arts teacher, he was more inclined towards self-promotion rather than teaching.
He might seem like a complete idiot who has no magical prowess whatsoever, but his astute thinking certainly gave him an upper hand and he was smart enough to take advantage of the available opportunities.
“Gilderoy Lockhart, Order of Merlin, Third Class, Honorary Member of the Dark Force Defense League, and five times winner of Witch Weekly’s Most Charming Smile Award. But I don’t talk about that; I didn’t get rid of the Banden Banshee by smiling at him.”
He was well aware of the fact that Hogwarts had trouble finding a defense against dark arts teacher every year due to a curse. Yet, he took it up as an opportunity to sell the complete set of his works by assigning them as course books for the year.
He tried to use the book-signing session to announce his appointment to the world, just another one of his publicity stunts. If he had stuck to his plan, his announcement would have barely received an exclusive column.
Yes, the opportunistic use of Harry Potter at the bookstore to promote the sales of his book is shallow indeed. But, when you take a look at the fame he garnered from this little act, you would understand what a brilliant strategy it was. After all, being featured on the cover page of the wizarding world’s newspaper is no small feat.
Similarly, a best sales executive is not one who finds or uses the available opportunity perfectly, but also creates chances and actively explores tactics to sell your product.
Let me explain my reasons before you people start ranting at my choice of content manager for your firm.
Content marketing is one of the classic marketing techniques which people often tend to overlook. Effective content could help us pave a gateway to building customer relationships without using any “hard sell” tactics.
“Everyone loves a rebel, Harry. Speaking of your parents, were they alive, how do you think they’d feel? Proud? Or concerned that your attitude shows, at best, a pathological need for attention? The worst psychotic death wish.”
While showcasing our subject-matter expertise is important to gain the trust of a prospective client, just a well-written content may not be enough to give us sales lead.
Creating a viral content would increase our prospects exponentially. Here’s where the expertise of our poison penned journalist would come in handy.
She could whip up a viral content and drive your site’s traffic to a saturation level. So you could drop the struggle to generate traffic to your website, and could instead concentrate more on monetizing the traffic.
Ron has been the tactician of the Golden Trio right from Philosopher’s Stone. Hermione relied too much on her precious books, Harry was rather impulsive, but Ron, on the other hand, has excellent strategic capabilities and tends to choose the most viable option based on his observation.
Ron was a chess master at heart, the way he strategically defeated McGonagall’s chessboard without breaking a sweat. He had only one vision in his mind, he just wanted to win the game and help Harry to proceed to the next room. He was even ready to sacrifice himself to achieve that feet.
It was not just the game of chess we get to see a lot if not most of his logical skills as well as his leadership qualities throughout the series at instances such as Ron’s perfect plan to rescue Harry from the Dursleys, his ability to state the obvious, which is often overlooked.
“Don’t let the Muggles get you down!”
As a Business Development Manager, he would not only an extensive knowledge of the market trends but also have a sharp mind to figure out ways for improving your organization’s market position and attain financial stability.
His jovial nature would help his crusade through the role. Be it, defining a long-term strategic goal for the organization or identifying business opportunities he is your man.
Several startups just use their marketing department as a PR outlet as well. But hiring a PR would help you get your name out there and shed some limelight on your little alcove.
Slughorn is a seasoned social butterfly like Horace who has powerful allies and let you tap into his vast, robust network of influential celebrities.
However, he doesn’t let just anyone into his exclusive little club; you should either hail from a power background or have potential to go far.
While his opportunistic motto seems conceited, the way how he offers everyone (irrespective of their blood status) an equal networking foundation to climb the social ladder seems to negate his self-centeredness.
“But I suppose that’s the way life goes on.You have something now, and then it suddenly goes… Poof!”
While attending events and networking on your own could get you equivalent exposure, a PR like Slughorn would not only help you get your name out there but also offer a hand maintaining that image, managing the information spread, and cementing your brand among the masses.
Neville Longbottom may not have carried the weight of the wizarding world on his shoulders like Harry, but he managed to find his inner warrior and lead his classmates into the battle.
He was not the brightest crayon in the box, but his resilience to prove his potential to the world and the dedication he demonstrates to overcome his weakness sets him apart from the rest.
Neville came off as a coward in the beginning but his perseverance and determination made him bold enough to stand against Voldemort in a battle. Even the dictatorship of death eaters did not put a damper on his spirit. He was not a fast learner, but his constant practice transformed him from a stuttering mess to a stunning tutor of DA.
He has come a long way from the forgetful chubby guy to quite the dashing leader who kept the fire of resistance alive among the students when the trio was busy hunting Horcruxes.
“I’ll join you when hell freezes over. Dumbledore’s Army!”
Seeing as how trainers must have an in-depth knowledge of the business, a passion for continuous learning and an exceptional command of the material, none other than Neville would make justice for the role. His calm demeanor and easily approachable outlook would encourage the trainees to ask for help without hesitations.
Being the best trainer is not pushing your trainees too hard, that would never work, not to mention that it is borderline bullying. As Neville had been a victim of such hard push sessions, he would definitely have a better grasp on when to push, how to make them understand the importance of mastering a skill and just when to step back offering his trainees a bit rest.
Severus Snape, where do I start? The most misunderstood character in the series. A stoic man who expressed his love in just a word, “Always.”
I could hear a few people screaming that “Snape’s a git!” Well, he was rather intense when it came to his principles and his sarcastic sense of humor may have come off as borderline rude. But, you gotta love the way he was direct in his comments, how he never minced his words whenever he expressed his opinion.
“Well, it may have escaped your notice, but life isn’t fair ”
His passion for the subject never lets him accept a below par assignment, and his standards are pretty high which you could meet only with a near perfect work. He uses his authority to push people to their limits, although it might come off as being too hard.
Although he is good-natured and never intends real offense, still his candid manner tends to put a strain on friendships. His impatience may make him quite unsuitable to be a teacher, but his perfectionism makes him a fitting candidate for QA Manager.
Representing the complete quality management within a company is a great task to undertake. His determination to ensure quality would make him dissect every product and analyze it thoroughly.
Seeing how this position demands someone who’s far more than just a figurehead, selecting a person like Snape to be your QA Manager would ensure that your products are of exemplary quality and help you stay ahead of your competitors in terms of quality.
Initially, we may think that just our hard work and technical expertise could make us go places, but having an industry veteran to show you the ropes, what to do, what not to, would definitely come in handy when you encounter the trials of entrepreneurship.
Dumbledore is a genius with a great reputation and a vast network of friends. Besides his ample amount of experience, he takes a personal interest in Harry and looks out for him always.
“Those who have leadership thrust upon them, and take up the mantle because they must, and find to their own surprise that they wear it well.”
Best mentors are ideally busy people who juggle a lot of responsibilities, so entrepreneurs should be smart enough to utilize their potential to the fullest at every opportunity they get to interact. The added advantage of tapping into their vast network of contact when a need arises is just an added brownie point.
Having a mentor like him wants to see you succeed in your venture genuinely, would help you stay longer in the field. Their constant encouragement and supervision would take you further down the road to success.
Molly Weasley is a remarkable mother. But how would she make an equally great CFO? It’s no secret that the Weasleys were poor, but the way she managed to bring up seven brilliant children amidst the cash crunch makes her a worthy person for the job.
We all know that mothers are the self-designated financial officers of a family. Even though Arthur is the earning member of the family, Molly manages the finance of her family.
Despite being under financial strain, she never complained once, exhibited a positive attitude, tried to be cheerful and did her best to give her children all necessities they needed to lead a normal life.
“A good first impression can work wonders”
Her limited resources did not stop her from squeezing in random rewards to celebrate her kid’s success and indulging them with an occasional vacation. Her resourcefulness, integrity, strong work ethic, and problem-solving abilities made her a valuable member of the Order of Phoenix.
These skills in a CFO would help them build a highly productive work environment even amidst the cost-cutting phase. Her high integrity and strategic abilities would help her devise a sustainable tactic to cut down the expenses without putting a damper on your employee's spirits.
Regardless of the personality type, anybody has the potential to be a good marketer. But being an enthusiastic extrovert could enhance your competitive edge in the workplace.
Being sociable, assertive and talkative would help you connect and build a rapport with your prospective customers quickly.
Jordan is the commentator, but he rarely concentrates just on the game. Yes, he is biased and tends to deviate from the main subject often but the little tidbits of information he sprouts help in keeping his audience engaged.
“They’re off, and the big excitement this match is the Firebolt that Harry Potter is flying for Gryffindor. According to Which Broomstick, the Firebolt’s going to be the broom of choice for the national teams at this year’s World Championship –“
Though Firebolt is mentioned to be the fastest broom ever, not many of us cared much about it initially. Lee’s commentary on the Gryffindor- Ravenclaw match, listing out the key features of Firebolt with such reverence created such a hype which made the listeners and readers go gaga over it.
He did not just list out the characteristics of the broom mechanically. Instead, he presented them in such an alluring and passionate manner that piqued the interest of the listeners or readers, igniting a burning desire in them to purchase or at least ride the Firebolt once in their lifetime.
Similarly, a competent CMO should be sufficiently skilled to come up with a marketing strategy that enraptures the senses of his prospective clients and makes them strongly believe that they genuinely need your product.
What makes a great COO? A COO should possess a rare skill set which bridges the gap between the top management and front liners.
An employee friendly, ego-free COO, who has the inherent ability to motivate and inspire his subordinates and appreciate their talent end up creating iconic enterprises from scratch.
If you look into his teaching history, you’d know that Lupin had a way with his students. He not only taught them DADA but also ignited a deep passion for it.
Even when Snape told Lupin that Neville is completely useless, Lupin never took his word for it. Instead, he helped Neville face his fears and encouraged him to perform the riddikulus charm.
“It is the quality of one’s convictions that determines success, not the number of followers.”
He depicted the value of seeing past appearances and giving people second chances. He proved that even your flaws, those which have social implications, may not necessarily define our life. He’s the kind of mentor we all wished we could have and electing a person like him to be your COO would help you build the most employee-friendly organization.
I’m pretty sure most of you though that I was gonna skip the Twin entrepreneurs of the Wizarding World. I would never dare to commit such blasphemy.
Why not appoint them as a CEO? If they take up the mantle of a CEO and get strangled with publicly representing the image of the company, who would take care of the innovation?
Who would disrupt the tech world with ridiculously brilliant solutions, that is exactly why I saved them for the last. Fred and George might seem like mischievous pranksters who are up to no good but when it comes to innovation, no one could quite match them.
“Ask us no questions, and we’ll tell you no lies.”
Appointing a person like them as a technology wizard for your company would elevate your organization to great heights.
Harry might be the destroyer of Voldemort, the personification of braveness but without Hermione by his side, he would have neither survived his Hogwarts life nor the Horcrux hunt.
Crowned as brightest witch of her age, Hermione was the brain of the trio. Her sheer brilliance, level-headedness, and calm demeanour got the trio out of several sticky situations.
Just looking at her involvement with S.P.E.W & DA would show you what a great co-founder material Hermione would be. She was so completely obsessed with the vision of making her idea succeed to the extent of being ready to make personal sacrifices.
She never cared about the insurmountable odds or demotivating comments, but instead chose to focus on succeeding in her venture.
“I’m hoping to do some good in the world”
Though she was equally passionate about starting DA and came up with a clear vision of how it ought to be, she knew she was not cut to be the leadership material. Despite being so damn smart, she preferred to take a back seat when it came to implementing her idea and steered Harry to take up the mantle.
This quality to take up a back seat when required, supporting another person to be the spearhead of your vision, standing with them through the thick and thin, giving an honest opinion without mincing the words, her dedication towards achieving their common goal makes her the perfect co-founder of any organization.
The management team should have an array of skills rather than being a replica of each other. The skill set of one founder should complement the other. If one major player of your firm is more technically aligned, you should be concentrating on driving revenue for your business.
So, considering that our co-founder is more analytically inclined, our CEO should possess a different skill set and mindset. Besides being the face of the organization, he should be bold enough to steer his company and team towards achieving his vision.
Although leadership was thrust upon Harry, he took it up as a challenge no matter how reluctant he was to step into the limelight.
“I’m going to keep going until I succeed — or die. Don’t think I don’t know how this might end. I’ve known it for years.”
People often claim Harry was too impulsive, but in the end, his impulsive decisions made him more attentive. The slip ups and failures made him more mature and analytical. Despite facing several losses, he never backed away from his goal. He was even ready to sacrifice himself to achieve victory. Rather than making his friends and family wallow in misery, his self-sacrifice did exactly the opposite. It invigorated them to start fighting more ferociously than ever.
Similarly, an ideal CEO must have an astute long-term vision of the company, inspire and motivate others, remain honest, decisive, ethical, and focused. Having a clear vision is just a first step of entrepreneurship. To turn the vision into a reality, a CEO must be daring enough to get out of his comfort zone to accomplish his mission.
Finding your opponent, your very own Voldemort would trigger the thirst for success in you. Look at their success as a source of motivation. Instead of letting envy ruling your head & heart, try to get inspired from it with the attitude, “If they can achieve it, how could I not?”
“There is no good and evil. There is only power, and those too weak to seek it.”
Once you identify your competitor, learn everything there is to learn about them. Be a master stalker and track every little information available about their products/services. Dissect the functionalities offered, the strength, the weakness, the threat, the scope for improvement and based on that devise a plan and come up with a better alternative to their masterpiece.
Work on ensnaring your users with a quality product with exclusive features, this itself would take care of disarming your competition and winning you the business duel.
In a war of business, to taste success you’d have to build a team that aids you through the hardships. Here success is a team effort. Each player would play a tiny yet pivotal role. So tread carefully when you are selecting a candidate to join your team.
“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided”
Once you’ve your “dream team” try utilizing their potential to the fullest, but give them space to grow, and also make an effort to keep them motivated. Whether you make an ever-loyal Dobby out of them or turn them to a psychotic Bellatrix Lestrange who runs off to Voldy, depends ultimately on how you treat them.
Visit Habile Technologies to view an interactive org chart of the Harry Potter Startup Team.