Earlier in the week, Grant Thornton CEO Stephen Chipman gave team GT a taste of experienceAugust which was supposed to be a rousing battle cry as SC leads the U.S. firm into second half of 2010 and beyond.
Because we didn't really have anything better to do, we asked around to see how things went and it sounds like if you bothered to sniff some glue prior to the 90 minute presentation, you probably enjoyed it. For the rest, not so much. A source attests:
Really, really horrible.
They had it set up in what they tried to make look like a TV studio - but may have just been a cleared out a staff area with some curtains and mood lighting. It was 90 minutes long.
GT's new internal battle cry is now "Unleashing our Potential" and the market focus is going to be "Dynamic companies". It's the same crap that gets spouted each year for the last decade, just dressed up in a different package.
First, they had Chipman's Chief of Staff, some Senior Manager ask Chipman a handful of scripted questions with scripted responses - and the 4 different teleprompters you could see on occasion would back up that claim.
We're going to chime in here for a second - "Chief of Staff"? Is this a typical position in most large accounting firms? What does this guy make? How did he get the job? It's doubtful that he's anything like Rahm Emanuel. If you have any insight on any or all of these, please enlighten us.
Back to the review:
After that, they had Chipman run a roundtable with different members of senior leadership - again, mostly scripted. They also allowed 3 senior managers ask - again - scripted questions that resulted in canned responses from Chipman.
In essence - they wasted 90 minutes of everyone's time, obviously laid out some cash for the production (4 different camera angles, a few teleprompters etc.) and told us nothing - the production came of as small-time...actually, the production came off as middle-market quality - or maybe it was a dynamic production that was unleashed on GT personnel.
The general consensus is that no one likes Chipman as the face of the firm - he is bland, uninteresting and some of us think the accent is fake.
We checked with one additional source on the bogus accent theory and they had this to say, "No I think it's real I just think he has a hard time reading from a telepromter, he has to speak slower."
So who knows!?
Bottom line is that GT employees got treated toa low-budget set, softball questions that addressed the firm's vague strategy of "unleashing potential" on "dynamic clients" and a "bland" CEO whose British-ness is being called into question (at least by some). FOR 90 MINUTES. Are we missing anything?