Executives: Bring Back the Old Fashion Suggestion Box

So many large organizations today have executives and managers that focus all their time and effort on evangelizing, rationalizing and internally marketing corporate strategy and decisions among employees. With internal blogs, memos, company meetings. Bruce Temkin would probably call these types “psychotic.”

It’s a logical thing to do when you need to get an army to rally behind one battle cry. But it’s not a smart approach — so much is lost this way.

Some companies even do this outwardly, trying to justify poor marketing strategies:

“Chase executives are forgoing the brand anthem spots typically used to introduce campaigns, focusing on their products and capabilities instead. But the new ads are intended to create a consistent image.

“Energy is a thread that you will see throughout the work. It’s upbeat, it’s contemporary, it’s modern,” said Bill Borrelle, the Mcgarrybowen executive in charge of the Chase account. When “Chase” is used as a verb, he noted, it “has a lot of energy and pursuit behind it.”

Oh, give me a break, Chase. Mark Hurst explains why the above is downright silly. Executives really need to listen more, through open, collaborative channels, and mindsets. Harmonix Music Systems, Inc., the guys behind one of the most successful new video game franchises (Guitar Hero), understand this. When I worked at Harmonix there was an employee b-board set up in the intranet, where we could post everything from a funny you tube video we saw, to new design ideas and critiques of how the current product was working.

Everyone from the CEO to the interns posted, and was heard equally. Granted Harmonix was a lean firm of 90 people then, but that’s the approach large firms need to evoke. Or else they just become big, stupid Goliaths chasing after the wrong things.