Read D.F.'s bio and previous columns
for Boring Meetings
imagine the intersection of three triangles,” says Colby the Consultant.
“Most CEOs understand the perimeters, but the intersecting regions are
where they are most vulnerable to organizational paradigms that dilute
their corporate development.”
explaining what his consulting practice does because he wants me to help
him with something. He’s willing to pay me. A customer. I need to pay
attention to what he is saying.
But he is boring me. He just compared something he does to “tying
flies.” I’ve been taking notes on my laptop, and as I endeavor to type
“tying flies” it occurs to me that if I review these notes later and see
that expression, I will neither know nor care what it is supposed to
going on at
www.idlechatter.com? Colby can’t
see my laptop screen. He’ll never know. Who’s online? There’s
Rectangular, MadMarvin, CabDriver73, Bobalooey and lots of others.
back, InsaneCEO. Post new topic?”
topic title: “Have you ever posted during a business meeting?”
message: “That's what I'm doing right now. Guy across from me is a
prospective client for my services. He thinks I am typing notes but I am
really posting to the board. He is going on and on about whatever his
consulting practice does and he has no idea.”
D.F., what I’ve hit on here is really an alignment shifter. You know
about the Incendiary Principles, of course.”
Of course. The Incendiary Principles. Who doesn’t know about those?
I check the
board. MadMarvin wants to know what Colby’s tie looks like. Bobalooey,
who has been to my office, wonders how he likes the pictures on the
I tell the board. “He’s going on about something called the Incendiary
Principles. Does anyone know what that is? He seems to think I should
know. What am I, a theorist?”
posts: “Let us know if you get the gig! You can buy us lunch!”
Emergency! Colby is coming around to look at my computer. “Go to
he says! “Let’s look at it together!”
a new window of Internet Explorer.
Of course. Management theories dot com. Let’s look at it.
some video of some guy in a meeting acting like an idiot. At the end of
the video, the others in the meeting look at him funny.
Colby says. “That is the essence of this principle. It’s like the
Elephant and the Slide Rule, which you’re of course familiar with.”
back to his chair on the other side of the conference table. Back to
call! He came around to look at my computer! Almost busted, but I was
too quick. Anyone ever heard of the Elephant and the Slide Rule
says Colby is making this stuff up. CabDriver73 is checking Wikipedia
and can’t find anything. SultrySusan joins the discussion.
InsaneCEO! I’ve been in meetings with you. Were you posting to the board
Of course I
was. Who wants to listen to anything SultrySusan has to say?
up the discussion: “Well, maybe together we can move beyond tying these
flies and start putting them in front of some fish.”
I nod my
in my notes, Colby,” I assure him. And it is. Preserved for posterity.
the idle chatters that the meeting is over. They are very disappointed
that they will not be able to benefit from any more of Colby’s wisdom. I
sympathize, but seriously – I have work to do.
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