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Drunken Salute

Catch 23?

You used me, but that’s OK, it’s what I do.

I was just looking through some old footage I produced for a company developing their values program. I met with the head of HR and she told the “team was stuck.” They had reached a creative impasse if you like and besides shooting interviews and b-roll, she would like me to attend a developmental meeting and break the log jam. I, of course, couldn’t wait. When I arrived on the designated morning, I was greeted by the V.P. of HR and the V.P. of Marketing. When the three of us entered the too small room I could see I had my work cut out for me.

There were at least 15 attendees and they were in the middle of  one of their all too frequent arguments. They paused long enough to hear my introduction and got right back to what they were arguing about. Now, here’s what I thought was interesting, both V.P.s moved their seats from the table to the back wall. They were getting out of the line of fire. No sooner had they repositioned themselves, when someone lobbed, “What do you think, Bob?”

This was not my first rodeo and had seen the efforts of outsiders torn asunder. There was a veteran consultant sitting across from me taking copious notes and looking all the worse for wear. I said, “Democracy is hard, isn’t it?” I didn’t realize how hard democracy really was until I saw what they had so far. It sounded like the kids they were. Now I know why the V.P.s withdrew. They were in the middle of a pissing match in which there would be no winners. Only whiners. Good move. They’re probably still in their positions. They are, I just checked.

So I went back to my studio and drafted up a few adult ideas that would not induce a gag when offered up to board members. I e-mailed a new graphic and suggestions to replace “cool” and “humble.” What I got back was the unwillingness to change anything, even though they thought what I had put together was better by far. Ambushed, I thought. They didn’t want to be the villain, so why not bring in the outside antagonist to don the bulls-eye outfit?

Long story short, we got through it but I’m wondering how they’ll feel about their values once they get old enough to vote.

If you’re in the middle of a project like this and you need to change targets, call me. (See title)

Bob O’Hearn
President & CEO

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Please note: I welcome comments that are offensive, illogical or off-topic from readers in all states of consciousness.

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