Thanks everybody for coming to this meeting on such short notice. Let me cut right to the chase: I’m worried about our lack of communication. I know it feels like we have a lot of meetings, but our communication is still not good enough. We need more meetings.
Dale, I see you rolling your eyes. Look, I get it — I have six meetings today, seven tomorrow, and fourteen on Friday. I have four breakfast meetings, and I’m going to eat four breakfasts, because that’s how much I care about communication. At this very moment, I’m participating in two meetings and I’m conferencing in for a third.
You say “We’ve got too many meetings!” But all I hear is “We don’t have enough communication!” That’s what my mother always said, at least. The fact that we haven’t spoken in 20 years is because we don’t have good communication, and I won’t let that happen to our company.
Here’s what I propose: team meetings for every portfolio; meetings for each level of management; and geographic meetings based on where your cubicle is located, to make sure that you are maximally communicating with the people around you. If there’s time, we should really add committee meetings: a kitchenette cleanliness committee meeting; a birthday patrol committee meeting; and, of course, a cubicle height committee meeting, because we still haven’t figured out whether it is acceptable office behavior to put folders on top of your cubicle to stop people from peering over the wall. I, for one, will not stand for folder-stacking, but it’s best to discuss it in a meeting. I won’t make any decisions without full communication.
I appreciate Dale’s suggestion that we try some kind of shared internet calendar or intranet, rather than just having more meetings. I agree that technology could improve our communication, but there’s just no substitute for a meeting.
Trust me, I’ve tried to reach out to my mother through the Internet. She didn’t respond. I found her in the Yellow Pages and sent her hundreds of Blue Mountain eCards. Nothing. She might be able to ignore her son’s love on the Internet, but she can’t ignore it in a good ol’ face-to-face meeting.
I’ve heard it all before: too many meetings, no time to “actually do your job.” I know, I get it. You’ve seen the movie Cool Hand Luke, right? The one where that guy says “What we have here is a failure to communicate?” That will never happen in our office. We are going to crush communication so hard that there will literally be no room for miscommunication. Am I right, guys, or am I right?
Dale, I know you’re skeptical about meetings. But here’s something to not be skeptical about: the pain of being twelve years old and stranded for ten hours in a Starbucks in a parking lot on the top of Mount Rushmore because your mother didn’t specify which Starbucks we were meeting at after the kids’ program ended. I mean, it’s America — of course there are going to be multiple Starbucks there. All we needed was a mother-son meeting to decide which one we were going to, but instead I sat alone in a brown leather chair and stank of mocha lattes until the employees kicked me out for crying and peeing myself. Don’t you think meetings are important now, Dale? Don’t you?
Let’s table this meeting’s discussion for a future meeting. I have to go call all of my mother’s neighbors in hopes that I can hear her voice in the background. I’ll see all of you back in this room in twenty minutes for our daily pre-lunch medium-to-long-term strategic planning meeting. Don’t be late — that’s a sign of poor communication.