The “Recruiting Funnel”, where masses of candidates are winnowed down to a select few, is an example of pyramid theory.
The whole notion emerges from the longstanding shape of families and governments: a few old people running things, lots of younger people ‘being run’. It’s mommy, daddy and five kids.
It’s the foundation of hierarchical management.
Large organizations, with their single point (winnowing) authority perpetuate the view that pyramids are essential elements of society.
The reality is that family structure has changed. One or two kids and two parents is not an organization that can be run hierarchically. Combined with technology that is flattening our organizations, we’re in a transition period. The pyramid is built into our perceptual framework and it’s outmoded.
Historically, economic growth depends on a pyramid structure. More people, more work, more jobs, more goods. We have no idea how to engineer growth without an underlying impetus of population expansion.
And that’s just the point.
In all of the industrialized countries except the USA, population is leveling off or declining. That means that what used to be population pyramids are becoming rectangles or “silos”. In those economies, the birthrate has fallen below the replacement level. As a result, the population declines while the median age rises.
The pyramid is being replaced.