These are pictures with "inspirational" sayings underneath them that are usually found in offices. The typical Sucessories picture has a photograph of a sunset, a big word in capital letters like "SUCCESS" and then a little quote or phrase underneath that. This seems to be a big part of corporate culture, as I have seen these on the walls of many offices, including the one I work in now.

Some examples:

  • INNOVATION - "The best way to predict the future is to create it." - picture is of a river, some mountains, and a lightning bolt.
  • ATTITUDE - "Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference." - picture is of a pool of water with a single drop falling into it.
  • SERVICE - "Treat every customer as if your world revolves around them ... it does." - picture is a space shot of earth with the sun shining on it.

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I have seen parodies of these called Suxcessories, Demotivators, and Depressories.

Successories, like many other aspects of corporate culture, such as muzak, has the trait of having been mocked for so long that almost no one can remember a time when it was taken seriously. Successories has been around since 1985, so that for most young people entering the business world, the fact that businesses choose to decorate their walls with nature photography filled with truisms that are at once inspiring and bland has become as normal of a part of business etiquette as the necktie and the hand shake. Even wikipedia has broken its vow never to say interesting in order to point out the irony that the Dilbert comic strip has been ridiculing the Successories style of management since slightly before the 1990 going public of the successories company. Successories has quickly reached a level of non-relevance where they are below criticism.

One thing that is interesting to note about the successories parodies is that in recent years, they seem to be predominantly about the presentation, rather than the message (which, as we know, is rather thin) of the posters. One of the most famous macros using the successories format is of two cats, playing on a Game Boy Advance, with the message "My Pokemon" followed by the line "Let Me Show You Them". This image in no way satirizes the corporate or motivational character of a Successories poster: it merely uses its format for absurd humor. The content of a Successories poster is probably so bland, and so taken for granted by young people, that it is below satire: only the format itself is of some interest.

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