Synergizing outside the box

by Brian Clarey

SCENE: A corporate boardroom on the 52nd floor, with a sweeping view of the cityscape and a motivational poster on the wall featuring a child in a karate suit that reads, “Impossible is nothing.” At the conference table sit 10 men in business attire. A carafe of coffee and a tray of doughnuts wait at the center. THE BOSS enters through the door, his suit jacket off and his sleeves rolled up, with a female SECRETARY. Shee pours him a cup of coffee; he grabs a doughnut and the rest follow suit. THE BOSS regards them for a moment as they simper. Then he speaks.

THE BOSS: I suppose you all know why I called this meeting.

HENDRICK: Our third-quarter analytics?

THE BOSS shakes his head slowly.

JONES: The merger with Western Dymanics.

THE BOSS: No, Jones, we’ve back-burnered that one for now.

NELSON: The Quintron account?

THE BOSS: The Quintron account? Jesus, Nelson, what the hell is wrong with you? The Quintron account’s a no-brainer! Quintron’s been riding on the rails for years! The Quintron account…. He slowly shakes his head again.

MURHY: It’s the new Falstaff line sir.

THE BOSS points at MURPHY, then touches his own nose.

THE BOSS: You nailed it Murphy. The Falstaff line.

MURPHY grins smugly and helps himself to another doughnut.

THE BOSS: This one is make-or-break, people. And I’ve just gotten word — thanks to Murphy here….

MURPHY nods solemnly.

THE BOSS: Thanks to Murphy here, we’ve discovered that Allied Logistics is launching a nearly identical concept, set to hit the streets a full month before we drop Falstaff. You have all dropped the ball — this should have been on everyone’s radar. Thank God for Murphy here. Now I’m asking you — all of you: What the hell do we plan to do about it? They shift uncomfortably in their seats, except’  MURPHY.

THE BOSS: Let me frame the paradigm for you here: We win or we die. I like to win. And everything is on the table here. I mean everything — price point, market share, value-added incentives. We need to be results-driven, folks. Solution-oriented. And that means we’ve got to think outside the box. Do more with less. We’re looking at a dynamic modeling shift, a game-changer. We don’t need to re-invent the wheel here, people, but we do need to radicalize our approachativity. And I need a buy-in from each and every one of you. This should be a slamdunk, people. Falstaff demonstrizes one of our core competencies. We need to put a fence around this and start spitballing. What have you got? There are no wrong answers here, people. Just wrong questions.

JONES: Maybe we need a rebranding effort. Lateralize away from our core constituency and create a youth-driven initiative.

THE BOSS: You might have something there Jones. Focus-ness on early adopters could have positive resultage. But this can’t be transitionally unstable. A change-ify like this needs to be seamless.

MURPHY: Yes, seamless.

THE BOSS: Right, Murphy.

NELSON: Maybe a stealth campaign….

THE BOSS: A stealth campaign? What the hell do you think this is Nelson? Some sort of hashish hipster rave party? Do you even comprehendify what we’re selling here?

NELSON: Actually, sir, I never really understood the relevance of the Falstaff line —

THE BOSS: Good God, Nelson. Sometimes I’m amazed that you find your way to the office every day. Maybe you better sit this one out.

NELSON hangs his head.

MURPHY: What we need is synergy.

THE BOSS bangs his fist on the table.

THE BOSS: Synergy! Absolutely! Why didn’t I see it before? With integrated-solutions approachativity, we can commodify our applications procedurals, streamline our verticals, incentivize our partnerships…. Hot damn, Murphy! You have literally hit this thing out of the park, all day long! Very forward-thinking.

MURPHY helps himself to more coffee.

HENDRICK: I’m on board.

JONES: Copy that.

NELSON: You’re the boss.

THE BOSS: Damn right, I’m the boss, Nelson! Now, let’s move on this, get some boots on the ground. This is where the rubber meets the road, people. We need to make this one of our No. 1 priorities. Fast-track it. Can I count on all of you to give 110 percent?

ALL (in unison): Yes sir!

THE BOSS: Okay! Looks like a win-win to me. Let’s do this, people. Jones, put together some metrics on this and send it over the wall. Hendrick, I see you in a key support role here. I’ll assign a team leader by our staff meeting next month. They sit at the table expectantly.

THE BOSS: Well? What is everybody waiting for? Take a let’s-do-this attitude! Go!

They file out of the room, leaving THE BOSS and his SECRETARY alone. THE BOSS holds his coffee and looks out the boardroom window.

THE BOSS: It’s always synergy, isn’t it, Gladys?

SECRETARY: Yes sir. Do you want me to put Murphy on this?

THE BOSS: No, I’m putting Murphy on the executivity list. That guy could connect four with three chips.

SECRETARY: And what about Nelson, sir?

THE BOSS: Nelson…. The guy doesn’t even own a decent pair of suspenders. It’s almost like he has no idea what I’m talking about. I think we’re going to have to put him in for reassessification.