Sunday, June 26, 2016

Taking best practices to the next level

Thank you all for making time for this mandatory training session. Though many of you have served the company for many years, you can appreciate our imperative to optimize staffing, set success metrics and empower us all to build a culture of excellence and accountability. That much is abundantly clear, and I’m pleased to have your buy-in.

Now that you’ve settled down at your group tables, you’ll notice we’ve come up with a series of exercises designed to move the needle on aligning our core competencies. Table A, to my left, has coloring books, some blank paper, crayons and black markers. Table B has several sets of Colorforms. Table C, unattended for now, will be explained later. We’ve done our best to create capacity and mind space in the context of our corporate core values. Oh, a question? Yes, you there—thanks for reaching out. ‘What are those values,’ you ask? Let me take down your name…uh huh…we’ll deal with this offline. Begin, please…we expect 110 percent from everyone.

Well, now that you’ve had several minutes, I see that all of you at Table A are leveraging all available resources to accelerate innovation. Alas, we’re not sure that coloring within the lines demonstrates a sufficiently nimble reaction to the cultural zeitgeist. You, there, the one who has used a marker and a blank sheet to create a picture of your own. Why didn’t you color in the book? ‘There weren’t enough coloring books,’ you say? Well, you’ve clearly worked fluidly, efficiently, and agilely and are meant for something better—take your seat at Table C. But hmmm, this horned head you’ve drawn looks vaguely familiar.

Table B, Table B…yes, very nice Colorforms farmhouse scenes. You’ve achieved cross-functional alignment without getting into the weeds. But you—yes, you with the smirk—dispensed with the playboard altogether. I’m not sure I know what those animals are up to, but you’ve done even better than think outside the box. You also, take a seat at Table C.

A general word to all for a further measure of transparency: As a transformational company, we are committed to aligning and developing talent in a synergistic yet scalable way that maximizes social performance (you there, kindly put down that phone) and impacts the market beyond merely the low-hanging fruit of legacy strategies. But we can’t do this ourselves. Our doors are always open, and we encourage you to submit your idea for tomorrow’s robust application. We’ll talk that, run it up the flagpole and drill down.

That said, we have a hard stop at lunchtime, so I’ll make this short. You two at Table C, congratulations! Your training is complete: We’re creating two new management positions. For the rest of you, the next training session will complete your preparation for upcoming annual appraisals that we’ve updated for our aligned and data-driven organization. In other words, you’ll be evaluated based on the learnings we’re providing in this two-part program.

You’ve heard of the game “Chutes and Ladders”? Yes, we all played it as children. But business is what it is, so greater minds than ours have adapted the game for today. It’s a Corporate Edition we now call “Chutes and Dumpsters.” Yes, it gave me a chuckle, too. Innovation, advancement, progress—they’re what make America great. Now for refreshments…Kool-Aid, anyone?