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Time to play the mix-and-write Phil Crawley memo game!


 

You know, the mark of really excellent communication is that the mere order of words has no real significance. A great memo achieves a sort of meta-significance that ensures lasting value regardless of whether it actually is… you know… comprehensible.

Take today’s memo from Globe publisher Phil Crawley about the, er, the defenestration. I’ve discovered that it makes no real difference to the comprehensibility of the thing whether the words come out in anything resembling the order Crawley wrote them. So it’s all equally fine reading whether you read it the way Crawley wrote it…

Reimagination-inspired teamwork during the last four years has reinforced the value of a more collaborative way of managing our
business.  By drawing on the collective strengths of the team, we are all better able as individuals to contribute to the success of The
Globe and Mail
.  With that objective in mind, I have reviewed the composition of the Executive Team, and identified priority areas for improvement.

New skills and different styles of leadership are needed to take The Globe and Mail to levels of achievement which meet the ambitions of our shareholders, to cement our standing as the best in Canada at creating high-quality content for consumption on whatever platform is most desirable for our readers, users and advertisers.

We are building on a position of strength not enjoyed by many of our competitors. The executive changes outlined below are intended to ensure that The Globe and Mail is in the prime spot to take advantage of the market opportunities that will arise when the recession eases.

…or whether you shake it up a tad:

We are building on a position of strength not enjoyed by many of our competitors. With that objective in mind, I have reviewed the composition of the Executive Team, and identified priority areas for improvement. New skills and different styles of leadership are needed to take The Globe and Mail to levels of consumption which meet the ambitions of our content for cement, to achievement our standing as the best in Canada at creating high-quality shareholders on whatever platform is most desirable for our users and advertisers.

The executive changes outlined below are intended to to take advantage of the readers. Ensure that The Globe and Mail is in the prime spot that will arise when the  market-opportunities recession eases.

Reimagination-inspired teamwork during the last four years has reinforced the value of a more collaborative way of managing our business. By drawing on the collective strengths of the team, we are all better able as individuals to contribute to the success of The Globe and Mail.

…or even if you shake it up a lot:

We are building on a position of new skills and different styles of leadership. With that objective in mind, I have strength not enjoyed by many of our competitors. Priority areas for improvement are needed to take The Globe and Mail to levels of achievement which reviewed the composition of the Executive Team. Meet our cement shareholders! Standing as the best in Canada and creating high-quality consumption, identified  to  our ambitions of the  content at our desirable readers, for most users, on advertisers’ platform. Whatever.

And is a teamwork during the last four years inspired? Has the value of prime intended to ensure the success? The Globe and Mail is in the spot: arise! Contribute to the collective-reinforced collaborative of strengths that will better take advantage, below the market, of recession business managing. Of reimagination! More of our Globe and Mail way. We are the drawing team. On the executive. Able by all, as individuals, to the changes that are outlined when the opportunities eases.


 
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Time to play the mix-and-write Phil Crawley memo game!

  1. I disagree. The last piece is much clearer.

  2. Awesome. The content of cement. The value of prime. And always twirling.

  3. A witty deconstruction.

  4. This is pure gold! I'm cribbing all three versions to bulk out my next written report to my VP.

    Which, come to think of it, means that you can scramble the words AND change industries and it's still just as comprehensible. Although I'll have to work the term "over-indexing" in there to localize it.

  5. I'm impressed by "levels of achievement which meet the ambitions of our shareholders

    Other than achieving rising share prices and bigger dividends, what might those ambitions be?

    – JV

  6. Survival?

  7. He could have saved himself about 800 words. That's what you get for outsourcing PR to the Govt of China:

    Leap forward …reimagination-inspired teamwork …levels of achievement…ambitions of our shareholders…cement our standing…best…Canada…high-quality… consumption platform…most desirable…advertisers.

    …position of strength…not enjoyed … prime spot … market opportunities …recession… strong team leader …cross-functional business initiatives…championed the relaunch…high-class pedigree … distinguished …. levels of excellence … unsurpassed.

    pay tribute to Ed…spearhead…he moves on

    co-brand products…revenue streams … our properties… new business initiatives…. marketing, promotions

    … shareholders… best in the world … wise choices.

  8. I'm not the first one to make this joke, but the whole thing also reads well as a Rush lyric.

  9. The use of the "team" word in this memo is key, as it unerringly reveals the motive. I would summarize this memo thusly:

    "Our result suck and the board is giving me a hard time. I am fed up with Greenspon nixing my brilliant ideas so he's fired. We'll have some musical chairs for the other positions. As for the staff, I'll be round to piss in your coffee personally later on. Here's hoping this keeps the board off my back for a while."

  10. The truly arbitrary subjects will neither submit measures to the Magistrate, who is the Chief, nor to the loyal advise.

  11. He's English isn't he, Crawley? Read the memo with an English accent in your head and see if it sounds any better…

  12. It's funny. In health care ( about 30 years ago, but probably still the same ) there were the five words:-

    creative, pro-active , innovative , collegial , collaborative,

    If you could work those words into a sentence or presentation, you were a star.

    I remember one person who used them all in the same sentence. His future was ensured.

    Dull, but ensured.

  13. Well, Rush lyrics usually rhyme… and make a bit more sense than Crawley's verbiage.

  14. What else would you expect?

    The men who hold high places must be the ones who start to mold a new reality.

  15. Sawyer Tom names his.

  16. It would sound better autotuned.

  17. It would have been fitting if instead Jane Taber wrote an article quoting an unnamed G&M publisher, ending with a list of Who's Hot , Who's Not.

  18. Quite apart from the bafflegab of the corporate release, it would have been nice if the copy editing of the Globe's own published account had reached unsurpassed levels of excellence. I quote:

    "Mr. Stackhouse has raised the ROB to 'levels of excellence in print and online which are unsurpassed,' publisher Phillip Crawley in a statement to staff.

    Mr. Stackhouse replaces Edward Greenspon, who had held the position since 2002 and who spearheaded its redesign."

    I believe the verb "said" is missing from the first sentence. And in the second, to what does "its" refer? Of what exactly did Mr. Greenspon spearhead the redesign? The Report on Business? The Globe and Mail? The online edition?

    I hazard to guess that neither the new nor departing editor-in-chief reviewed or approved the paper's own announcement.

  19. Perhaps the Dilbert cartoon could also be moved to the front section to help us make sense of it all.

  20. Frankly – it's creepy – isn't it?

  21. "The Globe and Mail is in the spot: arise! Contribute to the collective-reinforced collaborative of strengths that will better take advantage, below the market, of recession business managing. Of reimagination!"

    The horrifying thing is, I once had an employer who shall remain discreetly anonymous who wrote memos exactly like that.

  22. As the accent/dialect changes every 10 miles in the UK, which English accent are you referring to? Hopefully not the Queen's English, as Crawley derives from a working-class Northern city of England.

    Judging by some of the spelling mistakes in these blogs, may be the Canadians should make a decision as to whether they are American or claim their British roots. The English language is bastardised every day with mis-pronounciations and the inability to actually spell words correctly and have any idea of grammar. My favourite is the term 'off of'' so frequently used here in Canada, how about saying 'from' or even just 'off'. Have a good day eh!'

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