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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

About the all hands LANL purpose statement

About the all hands LANL purpose statement

Everyone I know found this debacle to be either pointless or demoralizing. One person said that it makes them very sad to think that 70 managers actually spent six months to come up with nothing. Some have said that is an insult to all the people at the laboratory. Others said that it was just a waste of time and not to waste another second thinking about it, which of course is the practical thing to do. Many people are just confused about why this even happened or what the whole point was and are worried that if this gets out it could really hurt LANL.

It does not look good to have an all hands meeting where we say we had to hire an outside marketing firm to figure out the purpose of the lab by watching videos of people gesturing about slitting throats, babies using diapers, geese honking, selfies and chocolate, octupi eating people, and dishonest facts about crappy cameras. This is then followed by the Director describing a one-page viewgraph containing trivially obvious statements that required six months to assemble.


Anonymous said...

Some people just don't understand my awesome abilities when they see them. I understand. Not everyone can be as brilliant and as awe inspiring as me.

- Charlie "Awesome" McMillan

Anonymous said...

Charlie McMillan's All-Hands made me physically ill. I felt like I wanted to vomit by the end of it.

Anonymous said...

The Saatchi and Saatchi guy gives the exact same speech every time. LANL got the
same out canned speech he gives everyone.

Everything is dead: Kevin Roberts on life in a 'super VUCA world'

-We don’t just live in a VUCA world - a volatile, uncertain, ambiguous and complex -world - we live in a super VUCA world. We live in a vibrant world where our kids -are connecting to each other and to brands across the world with no money -involved. To us this is a world that’s gone crazy.

Just want LANL needs.

-Strategy is dead. Who really knows that is going to happen anymore in this super -VUCA world? The more time and money you spend devising strategies the more time -you are giving you rivals to start eating your lunch. -

Are rivals being? Sandia, LLNL, congress?

-He went on to outline how successful business leaders need to harness creative -thing in the future, saying: “Business leaders need to become creative leaders. We -need to change the language of business. Who wants to be a Chief Executive -Officer? It sounds like you work for the government and who would want that? Being -a Chief Excitement Officer would be better, don’t you think? The role of a good -CEO is to get people to buy into their dreams and their company’s dreams.”

A companies dream is to make money and lots of it. Maybe LANS dream is make money and lots of it but why should any of us buy into that and how is that good for the nation?

-The big idea is dead. There are no more big ideas. Creative leaders should go for -getting lots and lots of small ideas out there. Stop beating yourself up searching -for the one big idea. Get lots of ideas out there and then let the people you -interact with feed those ideas and they will make it big.”

Saying the big idea is dead is in many ways a big idea itself. If lots of small ideas are good how about a million micro-ideas, or even trillion nano-ideas? That is how science works! We propose small ideas but lots of them, but the sum total will be worth more than a big idea. Kuhn was an idiot.

-Leaders need to become emotional thinkers. The difference between rational -thinking -and emotional thinking is that rational thinking leads to conclsions -and meetings -and more meetings. Emotional thinking leads to action.” -

I thought rational thinking leads to rational actions and emotional thinking leads
to disaster.

-“There are three secrets to emotional thinking – mystery, sensitivity and -intimacy. It is a lot about story telling. Brands need to tell stories on their -websites, on their packaging and so on. Make sure your brand and company has a -smell, it has a sound, it has a feel and an intimacy with people. Think about how -you can build empathy. It is the small things that count and how consumers feel -about our brands that count today.”-

Here are three other secrets to emotional thinking: drugs, booze, and desperation.

Anonymous said...


>SuperVUCA world - Vibrant, Unreal, Crazy, and Astounding!

This by the way is also how pets and people on heavy hallucinogens see the world, but I degress.

>Marketing is dead. The role of marketing has changed now. There is nothing new >anymore. If marketers are just hearing about something going on then it is already >old in today’s world. The further up in a company you go the stupider you become >and the further away from new things. Speed and velocity is everything today. ?Marketing’s job is to create movement and inspire people to join you.

If marketing is dead why did we have to watch a bunch of ads? In any case who are we marketing to? Are we suppose to have pop up adds on the internet that say "LANL...quality products at a prices you can afford, so join or dream!"

>The three questions to ask of any idea, particularly and advertisement are: Will >people want to see it again? Will people want to share it? And will people want to >recreate it?

Oh ya this is exactly where LANL should be going, people sharing and wanting
to recreate it...brilliant. Maybe this is just my rational thinking but I doubt this is a good idea, but at least it is not a big idea.

I have no problem with Kevin Roberts he is as he has said in his own words "an advertisement man" and he is excellent at what he does but it makes no sense to have this at LANL and in many ways could hurt the labs mission.

Anonymous said...

Join the LANS Team as Charlie & Company turn the volume at LANL all the way up to "11".

Give 110% are get out. This is no place for those who aren't dedicated to LANS' destiny of greatness.

Victory is ours for the taking! Are you in?

Anonymous said...

Marketing is not dead.
Don Draper

Anonymous said...

Is it really worth the U.S. taxpayers money for LANS to pay an external contractor for a mission statement at this point? Not!

Anonymous said...

Is it really worth the U.S. taxpayers money for LANS to pay an external contractor for a mission statement at this point? Not!

August 30, 2015 at 4:16 PM

The whole thing makes no sense. Perhaps it was some kind of kick back to Saatchi for doing some other work for Bechtel or another company outside of the lab.

In any case last Monday was a very sad day for LANL. The only slightly hopeful sign is that a large number of managers are coming out and saying how bad this whole statement thing was. It looks like that corrupt LANS facade is starting to fall apart. The rumors are persistent that LANS is getting tossed. Maybe last Monday was just LANS way of flipping the bird to DOE.

Anonymous said...

One of the more surreal aspects of the role out of the statement is asking oneself if you are essential. Mind you this statement was made by managers of which many of them have positions that where created after LANS took over. Since LANS took over things have gotten worse so maybe it is not too much of a stretch to ask if all the excess management is really essential? I'm just sayin.

Anonymous said...

What on earth is going on at LANL? McMillan sent out some bizarre email that no one can understand. The group leaders are puzzled and telling the staff just to ignore this junk. The email was along the lines of, "some people have been asking why we put the words excellence and effectiveness in the purpose statement...the reason those two words were included is because I and the 70 member team wanted to put in these words." McMillan then prattles on about some more utterly obvious points that even the zombies in The Walking Dead already understood years before. What on earth is going on?

I would hazard a guess that lab workers, many of whom went through college, graduate school, possible postdocs, and the interview process were already under the impression that LANL was about excellence and effectiveness, and took that to be a basis for even wanting to work at LANL, LLNL, Sandia or any other DOE lab for that matter. It is not a controversial statement to say that the the thing holding back excellence and effectiveness at LANL is an utterly out of touch, bloated, ineffective, and as some former deputy directors can attest, corrupt management system. The workforce does not trust the management, the LLC, or the motives of these entities. McMillan's email ends with be Essential? That is not the question; the first thing management needs to consider is Primum non nocere, "first do no harm." Each and every manager should ask themselves "are they hurting LANL and the nation?" They may say that their loyalties are to LANS and not LANL but they should ask themselves that question in any case. After that they can ask if they are essential. Of course this is a crazy question; when they hired us did they not make that decision already? Maybe they should have looked up what real leaders say to inspire their people.

"Every single man in the army plays a vital role. So don't ever let up. Don't ever think that your job is unimportant. What if every truck driver decided that he didn't like the whine of the shells and turned yellow and jumped headlong into a ditch? That cowardly bastard could say to himself, 'Hell, they won't miss me, just one man in thousands.' What if every man said that? Where in the hell would we be then? No, thank God, Americans don't say that. Every man does his job. Every man is important. The ordnance men are needed to supply the guns, the quartermaster is needed to bring up the food and clothes for us because where we are going there isn't a hell of a lot to steal. Every last damn man in the mess hall, even the one who boils the water to keep us from getting the GI shits, has a job to do."
-General George S Patton.

Anonymous said...

What ever happened this "staged" "grandiose" LANS purpose. Dead on the vine.

Anonymous said...

What I find interesting is the obvious level of strategic thinking in this string. Does anyone here think that the mission of the laboratory is aligned across all PADs? No, of course. Does anyone think that maybe some level of alignment would be valuable? just Maybe? So if you are so good at strategic thinking, contribute.


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