If you are directly involved in some level of corporate world you may be familiar with employee (‘associates’ to you, Bub) meetings where the management gives a favorably slanted overview of the company and its business status, go team. My company herds all the home office employees in for a live rendition of the corporate well being, and goals, in three separate, live sessions in order to accommodate everyone. During this subdued pep rally, several of the chief officers give their overview of their respective responsibilities. I’ve perversely enjoy attending these over the years, there are two per year, for they have given me opportunity to takes notes and transcribe what I see and hear in my own personal perspective, with some imagination thrown in.
This is the edited transcription of one such meeting a few years ago.
Going nowhere fast and picking up speed. The sound of mumbles hums the drum of what’s to come as the crowd is overwhelmingly absent in my early arrival for the ‘All-Associate (employed terminology) Meeting’.
Ready or not: Adjust. (I just make do, myself.)
There we were, lasers slashing across the black of star-speckled sky, silver starships darting to and fro, beams slicing through the less agile ships to create massive explosions of light that drive the dark of meandering imagination away into a bright sunshiny day song and dance routine of Corporate Meetingland! Cheers!
The sounds of empty space are drowned into the white(board) noise silence of hubbub and gathered socializations, while the chairs fill in like black marker on white (bored) walled (tread and tireless in repetition loops) animation and handy entertainment. I can see Clairvoyantly now.
File in the blank of available floor space up front and center, like numbers on a bottom line up, cheers the crowd into an immediate stupor of facts, figures and the ever important numbers of financial insight toward agenda, de-gaussing the sub-moorings of business that would otherwise be all wet. It all adds up. Where we are going is determined by where we find ourselves when we get there. Vision helps (…the rain is gone) and we can look up to see that we hear of the muscle beach of financeabilities. Flex that good theme.
The big three (aye, meme, mime) are up and outstanding in their respective fields of actualities, basking in functionality and bringing in the sheaves like bales of financial reap. Platforms are stable and enable landing with both spread sheets to the wind of determination and progress, giving firm footing (of bills and such) such that the process of decision will cost effort and time, paying by the minute gains made so far in the quest for the future placement of where we are. Later on that.
Sell it. Punch line economics provide a solid foundation for (more) numbers on the screen, like a platform up against the wall. The crowd coughs politely. Reform schools into learning experiences that undertake plans to find variation in the flipside of terms. A new way of looking at where we are going finds that retention spans the gap in a healthy manner. Thus, finding comfort in healthy fitness yields dreams big, and is found to deliver later in deferred situations. Work that out. Underestimating the flipside puts one over on the top to bottom view, and makes things good looking after all. Trickle up business accumulation. Positives are driven consistently so that revenuers can (in)still the till and fill the bill. Chill. High and short comings and goings average out to endless beginnings, land firm and solid on that stable platform, as depicted in video application.
Colorful lines make a surprise appearance on the screen, giving something new to be talked about in regard to numbers, and by golly, the numbers are back, replacing the fleeting colors, to aligned conclusions of projection and goal, and (a gain) adding up the score. We’re still in the driver’s seat, looking out for the future so we will know when it gets here. The platform is mostly for people that are driven by crossed books and floppy endings (forecast) to a newer way to be well arrived when they get there with us. Running toward adverse situation climates is claimed to be an employer fault. Fore given.
Success accumulates into (continued) video representation and compares two big green rectangles toward target measuring good visual involvement for the audient aspect of the affair. See? The schematic breaks down into six smaller green rectangles (must be a theme of sorts) and is holding vague greeting to be pointed at with various levels of authority, depending on the size of the respective box. Financial takeaways leave little for the masses, yet hold plenty to be upbeat about in smooth going conclusion.
Questions ask not, responses give the same.
Thus we fill our morning cup of joe and segue right on along, preying for the best. Good news greets the morning in a boisterously primary way of intent and direction: where are we going? (In three parts)
1) Strategy is the background to envision our way to see where we are so we will know when we get to where we want to go, as soon as we arrive, just where that is. The range goes left or right in a straight line variable of definition and graphics. Spectrum is a generous label that enhances this single line plot to significant aspect. Create walls in directional pursuits, keeping us on the (good old) platform. We don’t recognize the new picture, but it looks good anyway (told you). A big red arrow maintains strategic initials, written in several unpronounceable acronyms and aligned as listed in good order, but called by many other names (none of which are known as Nancy) as fits the need for terminology. Off track and back again lists significant actions built from nothing, which we sold and have now integrated within the results as fit health, wealth and wisdom. Think smaller in a big way. Going forward showed more of the same projection, once we knew where to look. Integrate sharing, it fits the bill.
Rationales continue forthwith. Business changes are different only in their alterations to the theme, which rests solidly on the (same old) business platform, and similar affected areas of evolved focus. Space (some kind of frontier, I think) that will hold us as one, separately from the others, in spite of our diminished stature where weakness is our strength, and we can muscle in on a different beach of our own devising. So look out and don’t get stepped on. At least we are small enough to avoid overt scrutiny and emulation. Thus our potential is bigger and better than our competitors: they may be huge, but we have more room to grow.
2) Vision view: where are we going? It’s not a simple perspective. We didn’t know where we were to begin with, because we didn’t have vision, but now that we’re here, it is easy to see that our direction clarifies our arrival to the place where we can now look around to strategize where we are. Getting there is the key. The mission is ‘why’. This entails different vision (look the other way), but we must see to story time first (that’s rather different, I will admit).
The screen takes (actually, just remains) center stage and our attentions are clearified again, so that we know what we are thinking about while listening to the words:
The shadow of yesterday draws on the images of giants and gives us something big to aim at. We (too) are drawn into the action, being small and easier to sketch quickly (giving me pause to feel somewhat akin to Odysseus in the Cycloptic cave of electronic corporate imagery), so that today we have progress in that we can work together to redefine our abilities in innovations and big smallness. Value goes further when you have less to give but more to offer. Kumbayahoo.
A big triangle vectors its linear way into our perceptions like light on a screen, and gives up support for great meaning, like diagrams that put the foundation of our platform to the test. It appears to hold out, for the levels of pyramid schematics build in situational words from there, toward apex realization, like the holey grail, and ads up (self promotion never hurts) to several nice circles and colors, quick as a special effect. Nice (as an indefinite, redundant repeat, descriptive modifier). A bigger pyramid (or maybe the same one a lot closer) sees us maintaining the ability to go places our competitors won’t (they are too big to fit). A strong win, won by the strength of our fit health smallness. Signs offer distraction from obstacles (…we can see all obstacles in our way…. I’ve been waiting for two pages to fit that song line in. See it clearly now?) and show the way forward into the future, the present notwithstanding. We’ll bridge that drawing when something gets in the way and the customers need goals. Make a boat. Balloons are nice boats, too, as they give good excuse to add a flair of color and rise to the occasion right on time. Pioneers value new market creations so there’s somewhere to go with our new found vision. Looking good.
Collaborative leadership helps us stake out an enterprise in identifying more connections to what we need. Unique levers stick it to opportunities, and enable our efforts to balloon (in a metaphor variation) in the creation of (continued whiteboard) mountains to see what’s on the other side. Bear with it well.
Enter prize vision (the winning run on), which has definition lease in what we say we are. Together we win because we say so. (It’s our vision.) Deploy innovation in new ways. Pie on ear sounds sweet, but small words might change and be advantageous to eat, or at least sound good (so eat). A forerunner, you could say, of where we were once we get to where we go. Optimize what we value and create progress in our vision (keep looking) to be there when we decide we’ve arrived. Repeat with me, all together now (holding hands optional): with me.
Review the home stretch, and yawn in appropriate response. Stand and deliver.
How we’re going to get there is the only obstacle we need to understand (reign on), one step at a time. Green rectangles make a return engaged comment, aided by more red arrows (in a lovely Christmas color pattern) to gift us with objectives in a new and explicit enterprise strategy. Our mission is incredibly related to what we do in order to get to where we are going (keep plugging away) in accomplishing it. Take due note. Assessments show perspectives executing common congruent facilitations in order to state that our ultimate goal is achieved by the time we arrive. On Wisconsin (in some cheesy add space), and off subject.
Back to the drawing bored (attentions drilled into the action). Education is the key to knowing what we are, down to go to where we get, keeping the dream alive and on platform (I’m guessing all this rigmarole needs something constant to base itself upon), learning as we go. Pastel colored rectangles look nice and offer a representational understanding of two or three things (I don’t know about you, but I’m still waiting for that first ‘third’ thing):
1) Not ours.
2) Not called agile for nothing, for we make it up as it goes along, measure as you like.
2)…again, somehow. (It seems to really be difficult to get to any third point, which may be the point.) Places stop along the way and assess conditions as they arise (like dry erase balloons), while agility helps keep it all important and gives credence to the bottom line of our platform economics.
In summation: there is never enough money.
One example to be executed (firing squad dynamics) is to think small and reduce goals to fit our direction. Platforms still hold up where other words (as big screen illustrators) might not. When we grow we get bigger, but don’t think about it. One size fits all. Small is almost as big as the feet of the (again, illustrated) big markets. Hold on. Stronger together, we win strategic transformation to capitalize on healthy forward looking vision transformation! Every year we take a three year look (the first two don’t count) to see what’s ahead and know where we are going, sort of. Maybe that’s why we strike out on third things.
We will measure whatever we do whenever we are on top of what we think we are progressing toward. Timing is everything and transition happens. Talking about numbers, statistics give way to talking about abstract terms and engaged ideas through initiatives and progress, so things are clearly part of the ideation that goes forward to where we are. When we get there. We must be careful of methods, they can cost.
Takeaway what we are not ready for in what was talked about what we think about what we take away. Got it? Take it away…
Volunteer to do something different.
Get up and running.
Okay. Those were the notes and I trust you have tangible take-aways from what you experienced and will apply them to your area of responsibility. So, get off and running things smoothly, the semi-annual Self-Administered Conformance Apprisal is due in two weeks. We expect a good report from you.