Have you ever wondered what the deal is with Mystery Inc.? Perhaps I’m alone here, but I just have to know more about those crazy kids and that darned dog. They are so good at solving mysteries, that they must demand top dollar. I mean, they are incorporated, right… that must mean they operate as company (after all they have the company van with that groovy paint job). One can only assume that they must be charging exorbitant fees and such, how else would they keep buying all those Scooby-snacks? With transitive association working over time and a firmly placed tongue-in-cheek I have established that Scooby and his pals are operating a legitimate business. Plus, I think the ghost that is trying to scare me away from the abandoned mine, must really be my crotchety old neighbor… do you think Mystery, Inc. has an 800 number?
From there I quickly jump to the clear next question; WHO does WHAT in that crazy company? In any company that I’ve ever worked for, you find a hierarchy, an org chart, roles and responsibilities. What about Mystery, Inc.? Since there hasn’t yet been a Harvard Business Review case study yet and since it’s not clear who is responsible for what from the crazy antics on the show, I’ve made some further assumptions:
Fred Jones = President & CEO. He’s a bit of a bumbling leader who rarely comes up with the answer, but Fred pushes through and is almost always to the one to give the definitive command, “Let’s split up. Shaggy and Scooby you go that way, the girls and I will check out the (____insert creepy place here____).” And, I give Fred a lot of credit, because that one command to split up almost always precedes the shenanigans, which leads to the bad-guys tied up with masks removed. Under Fred’s leadership Mystery Inc. hasn’t exactly thrived, but they definitely get to see interesting places, meet fascinating people and have as many Scooby snacks as they need to fuel the sales force (see below).
Velma Dinkley = Chief Operating Officer. Velma just plain gets it done. Almost always the one to deliver the end result and crack the mystery, Velma clearly drives execution in the company. I often imagine that behind the scenes Velma rolls her eyes a lot – but she has the patience of a practiced leader and allows everyone to believe they are playing a part, even letting Fred think he is running the company, when in fact, she does everything.
Daphne Blake = Vice President Human Resources. If you’ve been paying attention to the finer detail of the goings on at Mystery, Inc. you’d notice that Daphne is almost always the one to shake the box of Scooby-snacks in front of Shag and Scoob. Ergo, she seems to be responsible for workplace incentives and compensation. She’s also the first to raise a concern over a co-worker’s safety, although she doesn’t really follow-through in that area. While Daphne has good controls over the people practices and various HRIS systems, she could really do the company a service if she wore a skirt that was a bit more appropriate for the workplace.
Norville “Shaggy” Rogers = Director of Sales. Shaggy's role is a bit harder to define, but when you examine how incentive driven he is, it’s becomes easier to place him in Sales. Whenever there is hard job to do, Shaggy will agree to do it, but only after he has negotiated his commission. “You mean you want me to dress up in drag and get chased by the glowing mutant alien? Okay, I’ll do it, but only if I get a full box of Scooby-snacks.” The only other indication that Shaggy works in sales is his voracious appetite for free food, he’ll gorge himself to the point of pain if someone else has paid for the buffet.
Scooby-Doo = Marketing Manager. Scooby-Doo, although a dog, clearly drives marketing activities for Mystery, Inc. Who else would be able to come up with that crazy-awesome catch-phrase, “Scooooby, dooobie, dooo!” And after all, a dog who talks, must be good to drive a little business into the company.
Scrappy Doo, Scooby Dumb, the Harlem Globe-Trotters, the Three Stooges and various others = Management Consultants. Everyone has an opinion about the value these consultants have brought to the ongoing business of Mystery Inc. Some argue that these consultants allowed Fred and the other principles to think outside the box. Others would argue that taking advice from Scrappy-doo (with his silly “Puppy-Power” brand of team-motivation), is a just plain bad idea. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that Scrappy ruined the company, but Mystery, Inc. was never the same place after that engagement.
So after analyzing Mystery, Inc. it is clear to me (if not to anyone else), that the secret to the success if the franchise since 1969 is leverage. Everyone has a job to do and they all do their jobs well. By examining the consumption of Scooby-snacks, it seems that Mystery, Inc. must be highly profitable. Now the only question that remains is how does this thing scale.
"Scooby-Doo, Where Are you?" Racing in that crazy van all the way to the bank.