Man, I am so glad you asked. This is the most awesome story ever.
So January 8, I’m sitting at my desk when an email comes across from the new CEO. It starts off innocent enough. The first paragraph is just: Hi, I’m your new CEO. Paragraph two is: This is going to be a great year. But then it starts to trail off a bit. The next paragraph begins with “People have been asking me ‘How can I be more effective for [Company]?’ For me, the answer is simple.”
At this point, I have to laugh… of course, the answer for you is simple. You’re the CEO; just waking up in the morning makes you effective for the organization. But the giggles didn’t stop there… “For me, the answer is simple. I just [review the goals and objectives outlined in the rest of the email] and ask myself this question every day: ‘What can I do today that will make a difference in the results we achieve within one of recognizing these seven imperatives?’”
What?!? “within one of recognizing?” What does that even mean? Is there a discrete scale that these imperatives are measured against with “recognizing” being one of the values in that scale? Is it something like Ignoring, Assuming, Fantasizing, Investigating, Recognizing, Assessing, and Validating? So if I’m investigating, recognizing, or assessing these seven imperatives, then I’m cool, but if I’m validating or ignoring them, then that’s bad… Man, I have no idea what is going on here.
If I can’t even figure out what the question means, there’s no way I can remember it to ask it every day. Keep in mind, I need only ask it of myself every day to be more effective for the company, so I’m not very concerned about whether or not I can answer it. But then a coworker had a brilliant idea: why not get one of those rubber wristbands printed with the question on it? So without even finishing the email I went straight to Google to discover reminderband.com. After careful deliberation, I selected neon orange wristbands with glow in the dark fill on the message: WCIDTTWMADITRWAWOORTSI? The 23 characters just barely met the maximum of 25.
Within seconds of completing the transaction for 10 bands, the same coworker asked “Did you put the seven imperatives on there?” At this my heart slumped. I had forgotten the very point of the question. Going back to the email I read on to learn that the seven imperatives are the 7 P’s: Perform, Passion, Penetrate, Provoke, Promote, Partner, Profit. Yes my friends, I was supposed to ask myself every day what I could do to make a difference in recognizing passion, penetration, provocation, promotion, performance, partnering and profiteering. Passion isn’t even an imperative. Seriously, how do you tell a bunch of computer nerds that probably haven’t collectively had a date in the last 2 years that they should be making a difference in recognizing things that sound significantly more like prostitution than programming? I find it completely amusing that one of the senior people has started showing anime as part of his contribution to the 7 P’s.
So we resolved that if the wristbands were any good, we’d have to order more with the 7 P’s on them. When the wristbands arrived, I didn’t even make it back to my desk before handing them all out. I even gave one to my boss. And then I sat down and ordered 10 more, this time bone white bands with neon orange lettering with the 23 characters on one side and PPPPPPP on the other.
The orange and off-white of the first band along with the nearly random looking string of characters made it fairly innocuous. Most people wouldn’t even bother to ask what it was, since it looked so much like other bands out there. But the bright white with neon lettering made the new wristbands readable from across the room. And the seven P’s on the one side of it clearly tied it in with the current campaign. People knew it had something to do with the 7 P’s, they just didn’t know what it meant.
Every quarter, we have to set SMART goals, SMART of course being an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-boxed. So my goal for the quarter was to equip 10 people to learn the 7 P’s and the question they were to ask themselves by the end of the quarter. Specific… Measurable… Actionable… Realistic… and Time-boxed…. So not only did I have a goal worthy of a quarterly bonus, but I had an ideally SMART goal that other employees could use as a model for their own goals. Yes folks, not only was I given over a grand for two $30 investments, not only was I given a bonus for mocking the CEO in a very public way, but in mocking the quarterly goal system, I managed to give a perfect example of participating within it.
It is with a heavy heart that I resign from [Company], for it truly has been an exceptional experience. I am leaving behind good friends and good clients. I will always cherish the memories, and thankfully I have a reminderband to help me to never forget them.
Super Awesome Wristband update!
[Company] was in a lawsuit with my new company. It was a totally bogus suit, and it settled out of court. But as part of the deal, my new CEO bought me and my coworkers who formally worked at [Company] immunity from further frivolous lawsuits.
As a gesture of thanks, I gave my new CEO both of my wristbands.
In the time since I left [Company], they’ve had 2 rounds of layoffs, lost a few major projects and shut down the office I worked in. I think that pretty much sums up what they’re doing about synergizing the monetization of product integration through upward revenue stream dynamics.
Hey, just happened to check your blog for the first time in a while and thoroughly enjoyed this story.
But the real question is, what is that company doing about synergizing the monetization of product integration through upward revenue stream dynamics? Sounds like their CEO really needs to update his corporate management BS vocabulary.
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