Update: HP sent us along the following statement:
Aside from inviting TMP to participate, along with other non-profits, in HP’s annual charitable giving day in Boise the past two years , TMP has no relationship with HP. They do not work with HP’s employees in any capacity and they are not, and never have, been on retainer. HP does not pay them for anything. The descriptions in the story about TMP showing up unannounced, holding broader discussions, etc., are false.
So, there you have it. Our apologies to HP. On a related note, man, you can’t even trust CNN anymore.
We don’t mean that they’re applying science to ballet to develop new technologies, or getting into a new field. Both of those would actually be superb ideas. No, Hewlett Packard is paying ballet dancers to hang out at the company commissary en pointe because they are completely out of ideas.
The dancers in question are from the Trey McIntyre Project, Boise’s finest, and basically they’re the ballet equivalent of those annoying improv comedians you have to go watch every quarter or so:
TMP’s dancers show up at HP’s headquarters — sometimes unannounced — and break into a performance right by employee cubicles. Afterward, the dancers lead employees through a discussion of the creative process and how a dance is created and refined.
“We teach them the dance after we’ve discussed it so that they can experience that translation of verbal cue to action,” Schert says.
Leaving aside the image of HP’s executive team doing Swan Lake, this is really kinda sad. Hewlett Packard is currently fighting irrelevance as the PC market shrinks. No one’s buying its tablets or smartphones. It tried to get into search with Autonomy, only to discover they’d been suckered by cooked books and a weak product. Times are pretty tough.
Generally, hearing about goofy expenditures like this comes right before a company really takes one to the crotch. It’s usually a sign of either nobody at the wheel financially or simple desperation. Don’t be particularly surprised if HP has a big disaster in the next couple of months… although really, considering the company’s problems over the last decade, that’s pretty much par for the course.