Welcome to Mesdup Corporation. Here is a tour about our company, who we are, and our culture.
Canada’s national symbol is the maple leaf, a symbol of nature and growth. Mesdup’s symbol is the Rubik’s Cube, a symbol of complexity that few can solve its problems.
The USA’s national anthem begins with “Oh say can you see.” Mesdup’s anthem is the Rolling Stones’ song “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.” Medsdup’s executives and managers never meet their target key performance indicator (KPI) numbers, especially its sales force. For last year’s anniversary party celebrating Mesdup’s founding, the public relations firm proposed flying Mick Jagger to headquarters to sing his song. Unfortunately there were budget constraints, so a local wedding band from the next town over was contracted. They were not so bad except for their name and associated outfits – The Plaidettes.
Mesdup’s original motto originally was, “Happy Employees. Happy Customers.” But a few years ago there was a formal shift in Mesdup’s core values. The current motto is “Just enough is too much.” It reminds employees to skimp on the cheap, especially if it involves customers. No more customer dinners at Ruth Chris Steakhouse. The current policy is to go to a Meat n’ Griddle fast food buffet – it suffices to get food in a customer’s belly.
The USA’s national emblem is the Bald Eagle that represents freedom based on its ability to fly from a lofted perch of a tall tree. Mesdup’s corporate animal is the Praying Mantis. It has great camouflage to appear invisible and can lazily wait for a meal to pass by. For Mesdup, the praying mantis is its brand name and emblem because Mesdup cannot be detected in the marketplace. Typically when employees tell anyone they work for Mesdup, people next say, “I never heard of them. What do they do?” Many employees fumble and mumble answering that question. Improving communications with employees is a future goal of Medsup’s personnel department.
Just like any nation’s immigration policy where new citizens must study for and pass an exam, new hires for Mesdup must know Mesdup’s history:
1983: Mesdup Corporation’s founder invents the company’s original product. Remembering what that product was does not in appear in the exam as a question, only the date it was invented. Rote memorization is highly valued in Mesdup, especially knowing the first names of the Mesdup’s executives’ children and spouses to earn brownie points. Having a good memory is also valuable with customers to call them by their correct name.
1991: Mesdup lands its first million dollar customer.
1992: Mesdup loses its first million dollar customer to a competitor. This wake-up call provided an important lesson to Mesdup – deliver what you promise. Mesdup employees continue to try to learn this lesson.
1998: This marked the beginning of “Mesdup’s CFO Wars.” Mesdup hired its first CFO with a CPA. Upon his arrival he immediately implemented Mesdups’ first annual financial budget to control spending for every department. The line managers created a wall of resistance to a budget as being an infringement to their decision rights that had been successfully decentralized and delegated decisions lower into the organization. Picketing by managers occurred, but fortunately the hallway scuffles did not lead to any serious injuries.
2008: This marked the end of the 10- year CFO wars with the line managers. The Mesdup CFO Peace Treaty was signed. The compromise negotiated is the CFO’s rolling financial forecast would be tolerated only if it includes three components: (1) capital, strategic, and risk mitigation projects aligned with Mesdup’s mission statement; (2) volume sensitive driver-based resource capacity and operating spending expenses for each department’s cost center; and (3) it is not a fixed contract 12 month budget but rather is a continuously rolling financial forecast with frequent adjustments.
2012: The announcement of Mesdup’s Vision and Mission Statement. It quickly became apparent that the new financial rolling forecast had no mission or strategy to align the managers and employee teams priorities and actions with. The new Mission Statement was carefully crafted. It states that “Mesdup will be the best company with the highest quality and service at the lowest cost.” This was mounted on the wall of Mesdup’s lobby entrance and every employee was given a laminated card for their wallet or purse. Shallow and hollow mission statements like these are great because they do not divulge the company’s strategy. Predictably, this Mission Statement was obviously too vague. Employees were clueless of the executive team’s strategy and the direction the C-suite wanted to go.
2014: Mesdup’s founder and CEO read a book titled “Corporate Performance Management (CPM).” It was revelation to him. He embraced the idea that Corporate Performance Management is the integration of multiple managerial methods with each method embedded with business analytics of all flavors, such as correlation and segmentation analysis and especially predictive analytics, with all of the CPM methods synchronized like gears in a machine to achieve the company’s strategy and to make better decisions.
2015: Mesdup achieved the highest sales and profits in its history.
2016: Mesdup is evaluating changing its name to Fixdup.
Mesdup’s corporate logo was a brick. It represented something solid. After 2015’s sales and profits success everyone realized that a brick isn’t going anywhere. The new corporate logo is the cockpit of a jet. It demonstrates all the controlling and steering with feedback, alerts, and autopilot mechanisms to guide the proposed Fixdup name into the future.
This was just the first draft of the proposed “Fixdup Tour Guide.” In re-reading it, I can see that some parts can be deleted, other parts edited including the company’s new name, and new parts will be added to celebrate the success rather than the rough patches of the past. With the company’s proposed new name of Fixdup, its symbol, anthem, motto, and emblem will be changed to reflect the high performing organization that it has now become.
How similar or different is this Company Tour Guide to the organization that you are employed by?
(About the author: Gary Cokins is the founder of Analytics-Based Performance Management LLC, an advisory firm. He is an internationally recognized expert, speaker and author in advanced cost management and performance improvement systems; previously a principal consultant with SAS. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more of Cokins' unique look at the world, visit his website at www.garycokins.com)
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