I stumbled across this blog entry on the IBM corporate mantra from years-gone-by: THINK. That’s it. Just “think”.
It got me “think”ing about my experience at Hewlett-Packard when I was in and just-out-of college. I really bought into The HP Way while I was there. I still think about it to this day.
Are these corporate mantras distilling the visions of their respective companies for their employees, or are they cleverly disguised brainwashing exercises designed to trick you into feeling good about your work? While I know people that would say they are the latter, I opt for the former. And I present as a reason for this the argument that they aren’t used anymore.
Nowadays, when a company tries to “invent” a new mantra for itself, it’s not taken seriously. (See what I just did there?) It might be naive to say that mantras have to come from the founder(s) of the company, but I’m not aware of any modern company that’s been able to create a new mantra for itself, one that inspires employees and invokes the greater good. It’s got to be built into the fabric of the company.
Will we have another HP or IBM in this country?