Thought for the day:Mummy knows best

Outsourcing and communications expert Martyn Hart looks at a hot issue of the day.My "deep throat" has informed me that a certain...

Outsourcing and communications expert Martyn Hart looks at a hot issue of the day.My "deep throat" has informed me that a certain mobile phone company sent its IT people to a screening of The Scorpion King for a morale-boosting session.

Why The Scorpion King? Is this a message to the rest of the industry? In this film an assassin becomes the first pharaoh. So how does he do it?

The plot: the known world is almost defeated by the evil, all-conquering Memnon. As part of the fight our hero snatches Memnon's sorceress, who not only is Memnon's lucky talisman but attractive to boot.

This duo and a Leonardo de Vinci inventor character (that handily just happens to invent gunpowder) plus various oddball types (from Mad Max IX?) allow the hero to defeat the villain and become the Scorpion King.

Oh, but why The Scorpion King? Nothing to do with the god Anubis (as trailed in The Mummy Returns) but our hero gets jabbed with an arrow tip which has been dunked in gunk from a couple of scorpions' tails, which give him extra powers (what they are aren't clear, could it just be to make the title more relevant?).

So what are the parallels? Could the four other mobile operators be the all-conquering Memnon? The mobile market's so saturated there is nowhere for the hero company to go.

Has the hero company recruited a set of IT oddballs that will ensure victory? Is 3G the modern equivalent of gunpowder, and who is the sorcerer? Maybe she is one of their new applications, looks good and brings you luck?

Will this herald a new era in morale-boosting for telcos? Fibrenet might pick The Lord of the Rings. Or BT might try and scare its staff by showing them the latest Star Wars offering, Attack of the Clones.

As for the company that favoured The Scorpion King, most of the IT department didn't turn up to watch the film.

Investors in this hero company must be breathing a sigh of relief.

Which morale-boosting move would you choose for your staff? >> reserves the right to edit and publish answers on the Web site. Please state if you answer is not for publication.

Martyn Hart is chairman of the National Outsourcing Association and practice director at Mantix, a consultancy that delivers value from complex programmes.

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