I like to believe that in the workplace almost every form of communication, design, and subtle messaging has the potential to offer some kind of insight or clues to the organization's true culture and values.
I mainly like to believe this because it provides the justification for an almost endless string of 'What your company (insert any object, policy, statement, product, etc.) says about your culture/values/mission' kind of blog posts. This is especially important on the Monday following a long holiday weekend, and my only other idea for today's post was going to be titled 'What your company can learn from the Knicks gutty, double overtime win over the Pistons this past Sunday', which for some reason is my strongest memory forcing its way through a 72-hour turkey haze.
It was the lingering effects of the tryptophan coma that led to a mid-morning trip to the office soda machine, to fuel up for the next round of meetings. Meetings that while important, had the potential to take the mind back to Danilo Gallinari's back-to-back 3-point bombs in the second overtime that sealed the Knick win. (You really should check the replay on NBA.com).
At right, is a picture of the aforementioned soda machine. A very solid and concise headline 'Cold Drinks', followed by two rows of assorted beverages. The top row, the diet versions of Coke, Mountain Dew, and Pepsi. Bottom (and less desirable from a product placement point of view), full sugared and caffeinated Coke, Ginger Ale (does anyone at work crave a Ginger Ale?), orange juice, and finally bottled water.
Nine choices in all, with DC and the Diet Dew getting the coveted prime slots on the top row, (and hogging up two spots each). Out of the nine total choices (seven really), only two would be considered healthy options, with the majority of the selections falling in to the 'wake up, crank out some work, but keep the weight off, fatty' category.
Is there really a message in the drink or snacks that fill up the vending machines? Does the organization subtly or even overtly signal what is really and truly important by the food and drinks it makes readily available to the employees? Am I reading way too much into this, and the real truth is that an outside company services and re-stocks the machines and simply supplies them with what people want, and what sells? Is there really a market for vending machine ginger ale?
Lots of questions for the sluggish Monday following a long holiday weekend. However, I have just one more -
Should I have just punted and posted about the Knick game?