Thursday, November 12, 2009

Purple is Good

Several years ago my company had an all hands meeting. At the time, we had grown so large that there wasn't a room or other space large enough to hold the meeting. The solution for this problem was across the street, at the local mega church. We already had an agreement to share parking lots for overflow, but letting us use their meeting hall was a very generous offer.

On the day of the meeting, we all walked in mass across the street. I listened to others conversations as we walked for this interesting event. One surprising comment made by an older man was that this would be the first time he ever stepped into a church.

The corporate vice-president was visiting to give the presentation. The one thing that stands out is a chart he put up. It had a grid of colored boxes, each apparently representing a different area of our business. The colors were red, yellow, green and purple. I guess when you're put in charge of a very large organization, it's hard to know the details so you need a high level summary.

The vice-president could apparently tell that we were confused by this chart so he explained to us "Purple is good". I chuckled quietly and was a little embarrassed for him.

It reminded me of a joke I once read:

The president asked the director for status on a project.
  • The director asked the manager.

    • The manager asked the lead.

      • The lead asked the engineer.

      • The engineer replied "This project is crap!"

    • The lead thought, "I can't tell that to the manager", so he toned it down a little and said "This project is cow manure!"

    The manager thought, "I can't tell that to the director", so he toned it down a little more and said "This project is fertilizer!"

The director thought, "I can't tell that to the president," so he toned it down even more said "This project promotes growth".

Purple is good.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

Of course, some of us take great pride in telling management things they don't want to hear... :-/