I tried to put myself in HP’s shoes this week, and it allowed my imagination to go wild.
I work for a company worth billions. Highly profitable. A few thousand thousands here or there would probably not make much of a difference.
Hey, I’m the big cheese. I’m President of one of the biggest companies in the world!
Big event planned in San Francisco this weekend - I bring a date, hire her to greet guests and create rapport with new vendors, clients, salespeople from India – pay her $5000 – ensuring, perhaps, a night out on the town with her that weekend. Hey, I deserve to have my needs met, and it will make me a more productive and valuable asset to my company, come Monday morning.
Turns out that a number of events are planned over the next six months, and though I can hire professional hand-shakers for $500 a night, I again hire my “greeter” at $5000 a pop to show up, soak in the atmosphere, smile at guests, shake their hands, and spend a night or two with me at the St. Francis, to recuperate from all her hard work.
To make it look even more legitimate than it already is, I submit a report that simply indicates Public Relations. That’s what she’s doing, and she’s doing a darn good job at it!
In my mind it’s perfectly justified because what’s $5000 in PR for a company I help produce millions of profit every single day? I deserve it. She deserves it. And it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the millions we throw away on advertising and marketing.
Besides, when my needs are taken care of? The company prospers.
Getting inside the head of your executives and wondering how they justify outlandish expenditures might be an interesting exercise. And it’s not just executives that misuse their power and their funds, and misappropriate expenditures.
Employees who are angry will steal (and feel perfectly justified – they deserve this!) And entire teams will take trips to Las Vegas – Branson Missouri! and pay for food and parties, justifying these events as morale boosters. Of course, they submit the expenses as a convention expense (though the only convention in Branson is the Andy Williams Fan Club Get Together on Saturday Night. I expense that as Networking.)
Tune in this Sunday and explore the imagination of business professionals who scheme and invent and create elaborate ways to justify bowling parties, trips to Bermuda, a new computer for home, a pair of expensive shoes from Nike, a date with Heather.
What lies do we tell ourselves and why do we do it? When we hear stories (i.e. the recent Mike Hurd scandal), what price are we willing to pay for our fiscal imaginations?
Tune in this week to Dr. Brian and Dr. Gary’s insultant/consultant show, Sunday August 15, 2010, http://www.blogtalkradio.com/consultantinsultant to learn some surprising insights from two different points of view. Call in and share your opinion. You never know what one of them might say.