Big Company Madness

I recently spoke at career day at my son’s school.  The day before my presentation, I pulled a few “stickers” out of our sample room to show the kids what our business does.  I’ve talked to students before and figured I could just wing it.

The school had all of the parents assemble in the lunch room.  I saw several parents I knew, including a mother of one of our son’s friends.  She works for a large public company.  She is the most prepared person I know.  She had a set up like a tradeshow booth.  She had a display of her multiple diplomas (required for her profession).  She had a poster board of articles about her profession.  She had tools of her trade.  Needless to say, I felt unprepared. 

I noticed she had a table cloth on the lunchroom table.  It appeared to be upside down.  She told me the ordeal she went through just to get the tablecloth.  She called the marketing department who told her to call the community relations department.  The community relations department sent her a table cloth with a logo on it with explicit instructions: the logo could only be displayed if marketing approved that it could be displayed.  She called the marketing department and was told she had to fill out an online form to get approval.  She filled out the form and awaited approval.  She did not receive an approval prior to career day so she positioned the table cloth with the logo not visible.    

I understand that a corporation has to be protective of its brand.  I know that can often involve coordination among different departments.  But at some point, shouldn’t common sense prevail?  A senior employee is presenting at her son’s school’s career day!  Shouldn’t the company trust her to make a good decision regarding its brand?  Companies talk a lot about empowering their employees.  This example shows a lot of them talk the talk but don’t walk the walk.    

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