By on August 2, 2009

Despite GM CEO Fritz Henderson’s promise to a Senate committee that the new GM would be transparent to you, the taxpayer, the company’s reinvention website doesn’t provide an embed code for its videos. So if you want to see the worst body language/cognitive dissonance since Richard M. Nixon told the world he wasn’t a crook, you’ll have to click across. If you do, notice that Fritz is getting very comfortable indeed with his job, despite the discomfort of having to pretend to believe that some 138 million taxpaying Americans are the boss of him.

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11 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: Where’s Tony Robbins When You Need Him Edition...”


  • avatar
    picard234

    Where are my hip waders? What a big, steaming pile of BS he just spewed.

  • avatar
    Stein X Leikanger

    Any organization that has an Executive Director, Global Internal & Executive Communications function is screwed.

    Which reminds me of one of my earliest projects in advertising. I was with Ted Bates, and we had to create a national version of an international Nescafé campaign.
    No – we couldn’t just get to work. I had to be briefed. And I couldn’t be briefed through paperwork, I had to be flown to Vevey.

    So – business class for this young fool, just starting out. Down to Geneva.
    Uniformed driver with cap (full movie cliché) holding clipboard with my name on it.
    Drove in the latest BWM überlimo – down to Vevey.
    Very white hotel made of wood by the lake. Didn’t mind that at all. Very nice room. Very nice view of lake.
    Very silly porn on TV, but that’s another story.

    Next day pick-up with überlimo.
    Up to the Nestlé headquarters. Where I met with the President of Visual Communication. (My memory may be failing me here – this was back in the early 80s, but I swear it was something like that.)
    Huge Kubrikesque meeting room.
    The man came prepared, and took me through “the thinking.” Details, details, details – intentions. Did I think this would communicate with the peasants people in my home country?

    I would think so, yes, indeedy.

    Meeting over, the überlimodriver took me back to Geneva, and I had enough time to visit a very nice hunting store I knew about there. Picked up some things I couldn’t get back in the Arctic.

    Returned home, and didn’t change a thing to the “version” we had already edited of the commercial.

    What an experience. What a waste of time and resources.

    As I said: any organization that has an Executive Director of Global Internal and Executive Communication is screwed.

  • avatar
    commando1

    With thanks to Wikipedia:

    “…One of the most basic and powerful body-language signals is when a person crosses his or her arms across the chest. This can indicate that a person is putting up an unconscious barrier between themselves and others. It can also indicate that the person’s arms are cold which would be clarified by rubbing the arms or huddling. When the overall situation is amicable, it can mean that a person is thinking deeply about what is being discussed. But in a serious or confrontational situation, it can mean that a person is expressing opposition. This is especially so if the person is leaning away from the speaker. A harsh or blank facial expression often indicates outright hostility.“

  • avatar
    esg

    Halfway through…all I heard was “blah, blah, blah”. The arm cross was really irritating to me. It seemed to scream “Screw all of you”.

  • avatar
    dzwax

    So, this is an ominous sign, not a propitious one?

  • avatar
    tpandw

    Stein – This is a nifty story–cleverly told and well-written. I enjoyed it lots. But to the point of this piece on talking to Fritz, the story is also a very nice metaphor for what some of the problems are at GM. Thanks for posting it!

  • avatar
    fincar1

    Ah, GM, still on the Fritz!

    [generational translation: busted, doesn\'t work so good anymore]

  • avatar
    paulie

    I understand why.
    Its hard to live with yourself one you have sold your soul.
    But he did.
    He (GM) made a bargain with the devil, now he’s living out the contract.
    Its hard to have a job with the board, plus the US congress, as your boss.
    Really, what DO you do?
    Every decision is likely to be meddled with.
    I’d rather make a deal with the Chicago mob.
    At least they want you to make money so they can get their cut.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Fritz should be reading customer complaints about as regularly as the President should be drinking beer with cops and Harvard law professors.

    Fritz either needs more clerical help to read this stuff, or knock off the press conferences and blogging window dressing and just save the company.

    Are we to believe that Fritz and the gang are sitting around gathering product ideas from blogs? I would hope our $50+ billion would get us an atomic-powered car that never breaks, or something. And government-subsidized to make it affordable.

  • avatar

    According to Wikipedia, “Crossed arms: indicates submissiveness.” If that holds true, then Fritz may need a dominatrix. The “Executive Director, Global Internal & Executive Communications” probably could pull it off if properly equipped.

  • avatar
    don1967

    The wrinkled forehead and raised eyebrow are somewhat Clinton-esque. You can almost imagine Fritzy saying “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”


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