A friend of mine is a big fan of Grateful Dead. I guess he is one of the Deadheads. I do not know much about music and even less about Grateful Dead. Therefore, I could not relate to his enthusiasm or his almost fanatical worship of this group.
I saw the above picture with that profound line in this lovely article about Grateful Dead. Everything fell into place.
That line and the philosophy that Grateful Dead embodied is a lesson for everyone and every organization. The lesson is simple. Know your core, know your licorice. No one can mess with you.
However, it seems from the mess we create for ourselves, we cannot follow this principle. The temptations are many. Therefore, in our attempt to be all things to all people, we wind up being nothing.
Agencies never fail to surprise me. They never stop from preaching to their clients that they should stand for something, a mission, an ideal. Yet when you question these very agencies what they stand for or what their core is, you will receive one of the vaguest answers that will make a politician proud. And like any politician, most agencies stand for only one thing.