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Are Motivational Posters in the Workplace Dead? If So, What's Next?

I'll admit it.  I never liked the fluffy motivational posters that people like Successories put out. You know the ones - big title like "Potential" with a picture of an iceberg with a subtitle that says, "the greatest things you're capable of are unseen by others."  Or some %$#$ like that.  I'm probably not the best one to write those things.

Because I'm jaded.  

As I travel around, I see fewer and fewer of the "up with people" motivational posters.  I think they've run their course for the most part, where even the optimists get limited pump from seeing the iceberg.

Which begs a question - if Successories are dead, what's next?  What's next is you writing you own catchy slogan. Something with your personality, decidedly un-"successories" like and hopefully with a little humor mixed in.

You know - write a slogan like regular people talk.  Something that could hit a t-shirt at your company that real people can related to and maybe rally around a little bit. Need examples?  I've one for you from the world of sports that should get your corporate creativity flowing...

Let's look at Ray Lewis (controversial linebacker for the Super Bowl Champion Ravens).  He's "Pissed Off for Greatness":

Why is he pissed off for greatness?  Because he's tired of you being OK with being mediocre.  You're better than that, my friend, you just need to get a little pissed off.  Here's video of Ray explaining his performance philosophy (email subscribers click through for video), watch the whole thing (2 minutes):

Oh my.  It's a call for discretionary effort, but rather than saying those words or talking about boring words like engagement, he's wrapping it up in the mantra "pissed off for greatness". Which is pure play t-shirt and coffee mug fodder that the cynics can rally around.  

We all need the same things from our people.  Think differently about how you market that need to cut through the clutter, and you win big.



I've never been a fan of the motivational posters but I recently saw a print that said "Work hard and be nice". I almost bought it because I think that is the best advice for most employees. Think how nice work would be if everyone just freaking worked hard and was nice already!!! (not that I'm jaded from dealing with employee issues or anything) ;)

Tiffany Simms

There are vital messages found in motivational tee shirts. Some messages written on t-shirts can help numerous people once they read them. Inspirational messages are so encouraging. Inspirational t-shirts can tell tons about the person wearing them.

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