Could HR solve ...? The Princess Bride

Miracle Max seeks revenge on his former boss, Prince Humperdinck of Florin

The problem

As the King of Florin becomes increasingly aged, he hands the throne to his son, the evil Prince Humperdinck, who subsequently fires a number of the royal workforce, including Miracle Max – a medicine man. Later, when a band of rogues bring severely injured Westley – an enemy of the Prince – to disgruntled Miracle Max, he heals the hero to get revenge on his ex-manager.

The solution

This is reminiscent of situations where disgruntled employees leave an organisation and use social media to criticise their former employer, says David Prunell-Friend, founder of HR consultancy Prunell Talent in Motion. 

“It’s common for employees to leave a boss rather than a company,” says Prunell-Friend. “Miracle Max is upset with his nasty former boss, Prince Humperdinck, but not necessarily with his employer, the Kingdom of Florin. All efforts and investment in building an employer brand are worthless if managers don’t embody their company’s values.” 

He advises that corporate culture should be supported by CEOs and if there is an issue concerning the behaviour of a manager, this should be escalated and dealt with by a senior leader. 

“A large part of organisational culture is leading by example, and employees will behave the same way they see their bosses behave,” says Prunell-Friend.

“So it’s the responsibility of every Florin – or CEO – to effectively manage the attitudes, values and behaviours of their leaders and make sure they are setting a positive example to the rest of the workforce.”