Dancers Are Not Pirouetting Through Our Cubicles!
On Tuesday morning, I woke up to a CNN Money story entitled “Why Hewlett-Packard is hiring dancers.” Needless to say, I was intrigued and read on. According to the story, HP had hired a Boise-based dance troupe to provide creative services in an effort to help turn the company around. The dancers danced (often unannounced) and our Boise employees somehow got new ideas to take to market. The dancing cost $20,000 per half-day. “Had we lost our minds?” I thought to myself. No, we hadn’t, because as it turns out, the story wasn’t true.
After a number of conversations with individuals at HP and the Trey McIntyre Project (TMP), the nonprofit arts organization referenced in the piece, it became clear that the story was a fabrication. Aside from inviting TMP to participate, along with other nonprofits, in HP’s annual charitable giving day in Boise the past two years, TMP has no relationship with HP. HP has never hired or paid TMP for their services. They don’t help us with our business and we don’t show them how to dance.
I reached out to the editor responsible for the story, who was very responsive. CNN Money apologized for the error and issued a correction, which you can read here. While we’re grateful for CNN Money’s quick response, we question how they allowed such sloppy journalism to see the light of day. With corporate reputations at stake, CNN Money has to do a better job.
So for all the employees, friends and journalists who have contacted me in the past two days questioning HP’s sanity, let me repeat, our turnaround does not include dancing, just the hard work of a lot of smart HP employees. The dancing will come later.