“Realising Potential”: David Brent Advises Microsoft

By Laurel Sutton

October 7, 2009

At the risk of turning this into a YouTube blogging site, I bring you some brilliant satire, courtesy of Ricky Gervais and Steve Merchant. After the huge success of The Office, they agreed to make two films for Microsoft UK that spoofed the kind of awful management training videos that people come to expect at huge corporations. Fortunately for Microsoft, David Brent is up to the task and performs admirably.

Before you dive in, however, I just want to point out that the biting wit of Ricky & Steve is somewhat undercut by the mission statement, or leadership statement, or whatever the hell it is that shows up at the end of the video. It looks like this:

Brought to you by
“People & Culture”
Creating an environment
where great people can do
their best work and be on a
path to realise their potential

 

It’s pretty good right up until “and be on a path to realise their potential”, where it dives right into the worst kind of HR-marketing-speak imaginable. It’s not helped by the weird modal form (I think the writer wanted “can” to work with “do” and “be”), and the use of such bland verbs as “do” and “be”. “Be on a path”? Really? Not “pursue a path”, or “embark on a path”, or-cutting to the chase here-“exploring their potential”? Is it because they named the film “Realizing Potential” (sorry, I couldn’t keep typing in Brit), and they didn’t want to use that phrase again in their monstrous mission-statement-whatever-it-is? It’s truly Brent-worthy.

All that crabbing aside, please enjoy these videos, which were never meant to be shown outside Microsoft UK. Come on, did they think people who work at a software company would keep these off the internet?

 

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