Orange Is the New Idiocy

Orange Papers now available on the X Random Consulting website. Orange represents change.  At X Random, we understand change and apply innovative solutions to help our clients successfully manage change. Our white papers are referred to as Orange Papers as a reminder that at X Random we focus on helping our clients successfully navigate change. – (The name of the firm has been changed to protect the guilty, but we swear we’re not making this up.)

Orange? Orange represents change?

How did I miss that memo?

This is how thought leadership gets a bad name.

Oh, to have been the proverbial fly on the proverbial wall when the geniuses at X Random Consulting convened to turn their white papers into orange papers. Perhaps it went something like this . . .

John Pitch, CMO: It’s all about thought leadership these days, men. Try Googling it. You get a gazillion hits. And our thought leadership, well, let’s just say it could use some buffing up. Page views are down, and I don’t even want to think about our time-spent-on-page metrics. And when the salespeople call the suckers – uh, potential clients – who click on our white papers, the hang-up rate is approaching 99 percent. And the other one percent is college kids writing term papers. So how do we buff up our stuff?

Pete Spinoza, Director of Thought Leadership: Well, we could push our SMEs to get us some real client success stories.

Pitch: I don’t think we have too many of those.

Spinoza: We must have a few. And we could actually name the clients. That would attract attention.

Pitch: That’s not gonna happen, Pete. Even if we had some big client successes, we couldn’t talk about them. We sign those DNRs.

Spinoza: I think that means Do Not Resuscitate. You mean NDAs, non-disclosure agreements.

Pitch: Whatever. Most companies we work with need a DNR after we’ve finished. That was a joke, Pete.

Spinoza: And it’s funny because it’s true, boss.

Pitch: The point is, we need to differentiate our thought leadership, our white papers.

Spinoza: You know, boss, most people don’t read white papers. I’ve been trying to tell you . . .

Pitch: That’s it! You got it! Actually, I got it. You’re right. People hate white papers. I know I do. Let’s call them something else. Let’s call them . . . yellow papers!

Spinoza: I don’t know. Yellow papers. Sounds unappetizing.

Pitch: Okay, Mr. Thought Leadership. You come up with a color.

Spinoza: Green?

Pitch: Too crunchy-Granola.  It might cause problems with our fossil fuel clients.

Spinoza: Brown?

Pitch: UPS got that locked up. We might even get sued.

Spinoza: Pink?

Pitch: I don’t think so, Pete. A tad feminine. I know. Orange. Orange papers.

Spinoza: Why orange?

Pitch: Why not orange? I like orange. Everybody likes orange.

Spinoza: But how does orange fit into our strategy? At the last meeting, we decided this year’s theme was navigating change because, you know, everything is changing so fast.

Pitch: I know that. I was the one who said that. It fits because orange is change. Orange is all about change. 

Spinoza: It is?

Pitch: It is because I say it is. And that, my young friend, is what thought leadership is all about. 

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