I have been indisposed.
It takes a lot to indispose me, we Binglebys belong of a hardy nature, but over the last week my roots have turned to jelly and my leaves have turned purple, and I blame Sally Gulliver and her HR team.
Perhaps ‘blame’ is too strong a word. After all, at least they’re trying to improve things. But perhaps some things simply refuse to be improved…
And I admire young Will Comfort, her new deputy, I really do. He strikes me as the kind of chap you can depend upon when the chips are down - as chips, inevitably, always are. That said, some of his ideas seem rather to be ruffling feathers. And, well, leaves.
Plants not being known for their mobility, Sally Gulliver told me what happened last Tuesday in our reception here at Global Blancmange.
Sally Gulliver and Will Comfort had set up shop. There were posters everywhere, leaflets too, setting out exactly what Global Blancmange employees could expect from their leaders: the Campaign for Real Leadership, they called it.
CEO Martin Simmonds stamped into Reception, the veins in his forehead bulging like profit lines. ‘What d’you think you’re doing?’
Sally Gulliver blinked. ‘Our jobs.’
‘That so?’ fumed Martin Simmonds. ‘Doing your jobs, are you – or trying to tell other people how to do theirs?’
‘Well, that is our job, in a way…’ attempted Will Comfort, clutching a leaflet in the manner of a drowning man clutching a twig.
‘Nobody tells me how to lead this organisation! Whoever told you this was a good idea?’
Sally Gulliver looked her CEO straight in the eye. ‘84% of the staff.’
‘84% of the people working in this organisation told us our leadership was poor.’
‘Yup. Of the remaining 16%, 14% were spoilt. Quite creative, some of them.’
‘That still leaves 2%....’ protested Martin Simmons, weakly.
‘That would be the Management Team. Who were the turkeys voting against Christmas.’
There was a stunned silence. Then: ‘Since when did our people know anything about leadership?’
It’s enough to turn an innocent plant’s leaves quite purple.
Next Friday: Perhaps Completely Giving Up is your Best Strategy?
Bingleby was confiding in Richard Goff
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