Cop Shows & the New Business Organization

I watch cop shows with a kind of morbid fascination. Law & Order:SVU, NCIS, Criminal Minds and their offshoots require minimal mental effort, portray the world in simplistic terms and seem to be doing very well from their proliferation on network television.

I think they are important in another way. I think they are showing an example of the new business organization.

Let me start with example. I watched the premier of Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior. The pilot was not good literature, if good TV. If I were asked to describe the plot I’d retitle it: ‘Missing White Girl FBI Ninja’s’

That being said, while I was chuckling over the inanity of the plot I also realized that I wanted to work with those people portrayed on the screen.

  • They were an independent team working on clearly defined projects (cases).
  • Their organization was horizontal, with only small concessions made to the structure of the organization to which they belonged.
  • Each member of the team was a professional.
  • Each member of the team has incredibly high ethical standards
  • The team respected each other, and each others abilities.

Step back and take a look at CSI, Law & Order, Law & Order SVU, NCIS, NCIS: LA, CSI: Miami, CSI: New York. All of these shows have the same pattern!

What shows can you think of that portray a more realistic office structure, something we’re all more accustomed to? The Office is the first that comes to mind.

So why are we being entertained by the professional teams we want to be a part of while living in the dystopian comedy of the traditional organization?

Cross-posted from Quora