The Crone is reflecting on what she has learned in nearly a year in her new job. At Transparency Towers, her role is to help non-executive directors on Fortune 1000 boards better understand their responsibilities as corporate board members. Most of these people have previously served as CEOs of publicly traded multinational companies; some are former Cabinet secretaries and the Crone has even rubbed shoulders with a three star general or two. In short, the Crone’s clientele are all well-educated, super smart and mightily successful. How odd then, that they should be so attached to colored ribbons of the sort given out at conferences and other annual gatherings.
Transparency Towers has ribbons for every rank and order–staff, speakers, board members, certificate recipients, sponsors etc etc etc, all receive a shout out on satin bars they sport ‘neath their name tags. And woe betide the unwary administrator who fails to supply the necessary bunting for each bigwig. At this year’s conference, attended by 700 people, each entitled to a yard or so of satin, the Crone was accosted by a woman who sits on the board of at least two companies that are household names anywhere in the world that shops are found. On the lapel of her very elegant suit, she was wearing a brooch that would have been safer left in the bank vault. Before her, the awestruck and admiring bowed and scraped and minions followed in her wake “What happened to my ribbons?” this captain of industry asked the Crone “I have my member ribbon, but the rest are missing” The Crone scurried to put things right.
Of course, not everyone takes it so seriously. Close inspection of the ribbons below will reveal that two are bonafide and two are bogus–the Crone leaves it to you to work out which are which.