The company president strides into the mandatory Town Hall meeting in the corporate cafeteria with a look of Determination and Positivism.
The employees in the room, acutely conscious that other employees were deemed too essential to have time for this mid-afternoon Town Hall meeting, are politely attentive and curious about what is to be announced.
. . . Aaannnddd “Action”!
“We have a problem. We need to Do Something.” (dramatic pause while looking around the room. Audience has no clue how to respond.)
“Therefore, I have directed that we will form a Committee.” (Pause for applause – scattered response)
“This committee will Analyze, Review and Evaluate our options.” (Audience seems impressed – applause increases somewhat.)
“A Mission, A Vision, a Mantra, and a Corporate Logo will be designed and mass-produced for company-wide distribution. The exact focus remains to be determined, but it will probably involve Quality, Excellence, and Being World-Class.” (Audience sits quietly with semi-glazed eyes for next statement.)
“A report will be made to the Board.” (Dramatic and expectant pause ~ no response. Very quiet side comments being made throughout audience.)
“A simplified and abbreviated version of this report will be distributed as a PowerPoint slide show to all employees. This is our communication plan.” (Polite applause from audience with pocket of exhilaration from Graphics department employees)
“We will issue subsequent Quarterly Update Reports, called “QURs Reports” . . . but we will do Town Hall meetings which will include Q and A sessions with me, as often as my schedule permits me to join you. On those rare and unavoidable occasions when I am not available, a suitable substitute will be provided.” (Those aware of CEO’s heavy speaking, networking, and vacation schedule look puzzled. One eager and ambitious senior manager begins to plan campaign to become corporate spokesperson.)
“Any questions?” (Dead silence from all. After a bit, one unknown and brand new employee asks how the organization will address employee motivation and engagement.)
“(pause with somewhat puzzled look) Great Question! (pause for dramatic effect or to stall responding further) We WILL design an inspirational logo for this initiative, which will be available on coffee mugs, pens, stationery, and a full line of business casual apparel and other items . . . all available for purchase through the company store website, with your usual employee discount.” (Energetic applause builds through announcement with sharp drop after the word “purchase”)
(Another older, somewhat senior employee who will be retiring at the end of the fiscal year asks about internal analysis of product lines, services, and management. Scattered, but eager applause follows his question.)
” (After long pause, while looking skyward) No, no, we will not be evaluating the profitability of our core products or current management structure. Despite what you may have heard or read, our core structure and direction are fine . . . trust me on this.” (Muted muttering and much body language)
“Well, I see we are out of time here. I see we have a few more questions. Please feel free to submit these to Human Resources in writing and triplicate and attach a copy of your résumé and current employee evaluation report.” (HR head stands, waves to all while peering sharply at a few, tries to project a friendly smile, fails, and sits.)
“Your questions are very important to us. We’ll respond to each and every one of you as soon as possible.” (Hand held behind back as talking for some reason – unable to figure position of fingers.)
President waves to a point over the head of the employees and exits room with great energy and speed, since he is now late for tee off.
Employees quietly exit, with much muted conversation and several silent promises to revise resume and get into all this networking stuff they keep hearing about.
Wishing I were not using real life as my inspiration this morning in the Heartland . . .