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Posts Tagged ‘Joanne Bishmann’

This holiday season I want to thank all of you for your continued support and wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy New Years!

Below is a little poem I crafted for the Harley team…

December 24, 2010

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the Harley house,
Not a manager was stirring, not even a supervisor mouse;
Annual reviews were hung by the HR door with care,
In hopes year-end bonuses soon would be there.

Directors nestled all snug in their beds,
While dreams of promotion danced in their heads;
Ms. Tonit in snowflake sweater, and me in my suspenders,
We’d just settled down to write our year-enders,

When from the 3rd floor there came such a clatter,
I sprang from my desk to attend to the matter.
Clutching my iPhone I flew up the stairs,
Wondering what marketing-caused mayhem I might find there.

With the moon high above the Tomahawk facility
It cast a glow over Financial Services Billing & Eligibility,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a medium-height chap looking quite cavalier.

That glass in his hand, so clearly a Red Zinfandel,
I knew in a moment: Keith E. Wandell!

More rapid than eagles his lieutenants they came,
As he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

“Now Dasher, Now Dancer, & you Curator Bill,
On Joanne! On Mark-Hans! On Enrico! You work here, still?”
“Into my office! At the end of the hall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

Up they lined, like toy soldiers taking up residence,
It was a small army of regular and senior vice presidents.
And then Keith began banging on his shiny new laptop,
“Yes, Friday’s are Casual Day, but this plant absenteeism has to stop.”

I spoke not a word, and was turning around,
When out of his black-and-orange chair the boss came with a bound.
His eyes — how they twinkled! And this I must, say
His cheeks were like roses, all red like a football fan on a cold Packers day!

His Holiday necktie drawn up tight like a bow,
And the bald of his head was as white as the snow;
He had a broad face and the Harley t-shirt showed a little CEO belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

He wasn’t chubby nor plump, just a jolly old elf,
And I smiled when I saw him, in spite of everyone else;
A wink of his eye and a nod of his head,
Soon let us know that H-D VP’s had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but with fingers quite soft,
He started filling envelopes so fast it made him cough,
And laying a finger aside of his nose,
He gave a wave and twist, down the elevator he goes;

He sprang up on his motorcycle sidecar, to his team gave a shout,
“To Miller Park!” he cried, it’s time to chill out.”
And I heard him exclaim, as he throttled away,
“I have envelopes for all and for all, have a great Harley ridin’ day!”

Photo courtesy of Tom Queoff (USA Snow Sculpting Team)

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

 

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Halloween Motorcycle Ghosts

As Halloween approaches, I decided to ponder: What strikes fear into the hearts of Harley-Davidson executives all over the land?

To answer that question, I peeked into a crystal ball, reviewed the Christine O’Donnell ad on “witches” and met with a couple carneys on voo-doo to peer into the subconscious of the motorcycle company’s most powerful execs and see what goes bump in their night.

To be clear: Some of these nightmares clearly stretch the bounds of reality, but some have a level of plausibility. They range from trivial worries to scenarios that could bring down an entire company. Read on to find out about Harley-Davidson executives’ nightmares:

CEO Starts Shooting Black-and-White Commercials: An attempt by Keith E. Wandell (CEO) to humanize the company, explain its brand value and reverse the damage which was done by the glaring hole in his garage when he admitted after being hired in 2009 that he didn’t ride a Harley-Davidson or even have a motorcycle endorsement — he has since rushed out and bought one, placed a yellow one on display in his office, obtained a “Rode Mine to Sturgis” patch and rumors are he’s ordered a 2011 model.  The CEO as pitchman in commercials is not exactly a new concept.  Just look at Sprint who seemingly cornered the market with classy, black-and-white appearances and what it did for them.

H-D Factory Employees Ride BMW: The nightmare manufacturing scenario is this: Matthew S. Levatich (President and COO) calls an all-hands meeting and scores of manufacturing personnel show up riding BMW’s new K1600. Not only would it be a rebuke of the company’s own philosophy, but it would be another sign that H-D’s bet on union workers in WI., was at a dead-end.

H-D Restarts Side-Car Manufacturing and No One Buys Them (Again): John A. Olin (CFO) doubles down on the H-D investment as the marketing efforts were not enough to sell a sidecar-challenged public the first time around, but this time side-cars will have a renaissance comeback.  Or the company hopes so.

H-D Brand Falls Off Top 100 List: Mark-Hans Richer’s (CMO) continued branding efforts to market motorcycles that boasts history over flash results in Harley dropping from the Top 100 Global Brands.  In 2010, H-D went from #73 to #98 — a 24% drop in popularity and brand value. Finding another Malcolm Forbes or Jesse James out there who can provide their personal endorsement will help improve the motorcycle brand value and might keep it on the top 100 list?  In the mean time more advertising is in the pipeline that will lead the public to think that if you own this product you too will be cool.

Fed’s Apply GM Like Pressure On H-D To Be Green(er): Jon Flickinger, (President & COO of Buell) says that H-D being a “tree-hugger” is not the first thing that comes to mind. But, just as President Obama has told our CEO during their lunch meetings, the greenhouse standards will become tougher and H-D will need to aggressively adopt new ‘green’ codes for its factory and dealer network inorder to meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s L.E.E.D. certification.  In addition they will add a new electric motorcycle to their product line, based on the Sportster Family.  Lastly and for good noise measure the company will implement California’s, SB 435 law early — on all 2011 models — which requires all street motorcycles built after 2012 to have EPA-labeled exhausts.

Secret Motorcycle Design Found At Museum Teambuilding Scavenger Hunt: Willie G. (Chief Designer) celebrates his design team accomplishments in an elegant 1920’s style glam and glitter – “the new beginning of the motorcycle” – party with everyone’s family in attendance that was hosted by the H-D Museum.  Some H-D employees dressed in the era of 1920’s to 1930’ in their caps, knee socks and knickers to remind people what it was like during the ‘roaring’ yesteryear. The feeling was eerie and mysteriously exciting all at the same time.  The employee’s children participated in a pencil and paper design contest of which an 8th grader defined the motorcycle shape that will be used to create all future motorcycle styles.

Merger Madness: Joanne Bishmann (VP Communications) is weaving a compelling story and spinning the news how Harley-Davidson is pressured into a merger in order to save the company from further manufacturing cuts and/or collapse.  H-D sells 49% of its shares to Daewoo Corporation in exchange for a much needed influx of capital and to pay off the $6B in debt.  Hyosung Motorcycle director, Mr. Ji Jas Ryong (pronounced “jus wrong”) says “We do not expect to change anything with the famous look of the H-D product, other than the logo, in fact we consider it an honor to include it along side Hyosung premium sport bike line.”

What are your thoughts?  Are there other H-D nightmares out there?

Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures (Ghost Rider) This blog post is satire and entirely fictitious.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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