If we had some ham…

Our new chickens haven’t started laying yet, but when they do we are expecting some pastel colored eggs from the ladies. In the meantime we stumbled across these beauties at a local market.


This also got me to thinking of  a great phrase my father used to say on occasion:

“If we had some ham, we could have ham and eggs, if we had some eggs.”

It always bemused me, and apparently it is attributed to Groucho Marx but, to be honest it doesn’t really matter to me. It’s funny and about as relevant as all the parables and platitudes that are routinely flung our way, except this one makes me smile.


Corporate Inclusion

I have eluded briefly to the workings of my corporate overlords in a few previous posts, and today I feel the need for another such reference.


I work in a large US office, employing over 500 people, for an international corporation which, in turn, employs several thousand individuals on four continents. Very recently, our local office staff received a mail missive explaining how a new corporate initiative is being launched to connect, inspire and develop us all. This carefully crafted communication explained how the organization is celebrating Diversity and Inclusion as major principles within the work environment and that sharing of ideas will be key to helping to energize us all. These are very laudable goals and ones to which we should all happily ascribe and promote.

The email contained a colorful invitation, in corporate colors, to attend the kick off initiative and enable us to “connect” with key leaders and be inspired by their unique stories of personal and professional growth. It looks like an interesting opportunity to learn more from those who shape our daily routine perhaps, but as I read to the bottom of the invitation there was a statement, written in bold font, “maximum attendance of 40 colleagues.

How ironic that in their attempt to be inclusive the organization automatically excludes over 90% of the potential audience!

I wonder if I am the only one to see it?


Corporate Dreaming – a perspective

Today my colleagues and I have the dubious pleasure of another 4 hour meeting with a group of management consultants who have been brought into our organization to tell us something. I am not entirely sure what we are supposed to gain from this exercise, as it wasn’t made clear during the first 2-day exercise, and a quick straw poll of several of my co-workers has revealed that they too are equally in the dark. However, as is often the case in such situations I am sure it will be seen as money well-spent by the corporation hierarchy. It baffles me how executive management of corporations are hailed as being successful managers and stewards of an organization when they need external consultants to do their job for them, but then as the old adage goes “no-one ever got fired for hiring McKinsey” (even when they do a poor job).

Anyhow, in an attempt to maintain my sanity in this ocean of madness what this means for me is that I have a credible excuse for posting some of my motivational irony that I have produced over the last couple of years, usually after similar exercises, so here goes:

Firstly, I am tired of seeing bombastic scribbles which proclaim just how important we are as individuals, and how we should embrace this thought. To me this somewhat misses the point. Yes, individuals are important but we are only one tiny part of a greater society. Perhaps we should be reminded of this more often, and perhaps our seemingly ever increasing proclivity to narcissism may be held in check. We should be able to deal with this perspective.


The other hackneyed rhetoric to which we are often subject is to “think outside the box”. This truly annoying phrase has been with us since the advent of the management consultant and apparently has links to the old “nine dot puzzle” which is occasionally rolled out as if it is some kind of magic trick. As someone who solved this the first time I saw it, it never ceases to amaze me how many people who are proponents of the out of the box concept struggle with this simple puzzle and its derivatives (yes it can be done with 3 lines and even one line as long as it’s on a sheet of paper (big hint there). Anyway, I digress. My antidote to this, as a Whovian, is the following poster:

Think Inside The Box

And finally, to summarize my view of the whole management consultant affair, I offer the following picture to consider if you too also have to deal with hour after hour of meaningless metaphors sprinkled with irrelevant platitudes:


[rant over!]


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