One day, as the company chairman was looking for a way to boost worker creativity, he flipped through a pile of glitter and glue thank you cards from a first grade class that had toured the corporate headquarters. He sat bolt upright, and said “Of course…the creativity of children.”
The next day, he distributed compositions notebooks with black and white marble covers to his junior workers. Next he assigned each of his managers to teach creativity classes, one manager for each group of 25 junior workers. As the managers taught, the junior workers took notes, and occasionally did homework assignments.
Between junior worker nap times and snacks of graham crackers and apple juice, the managers went through these compositions notebooks and corrected any spelling and grammar mistakes. They also took this time to meet with the many child psychologists that the chairman had hired, who informed the managers of any personal issues affecting the junior workers. They also discussed educational modifications that any specific junior worker needed so as to overcome a particular learning disability.
Whenever a junior worker broke any of the rules concerning conduct or job productivity, they were sent to the chairman’s office, where he would discipline them and occasionally make them stay after work to clean the office whiteboards.
Creativity soared as the junior workers created sculptures out of Legos and popsicle sticks. As the years went by, however, they started to rebel. For example, when the managers forbade them to decorate their cubicles with posters that had foul language, the workers simply began covering their cubicle walls with 8 1/2” by 11” posters that had the same inappropriate messages.
“These aren’t posters,” they said, “these are leaflets.”
Nonetheless, this phase soon passed, and a few years later, the junior workers moved out and took other jobs in which they dressed for work on their own rather than having the child psychologists choose their wardrobe for them. During a commencement ceremony that the chairman presided over, the managers and psychologists wept and hugged the outgoing junior workers, urging them to write.
Then, as a new group of junior workers started with the company, the managers and child psychologists shook their heads, said “they grow up so fast,” and once again began the process of guiding junior workers to adulthood.