I concluded my fiscal year, in a Strategic Planning meeting. Naturally, this meeting took place on the West Coast. It took two days of travel for 13.5 hours of face time with my fellow leaders.
I knew that I was on the Leadership team, but truly stunned to find myself on the Strategic Planning Committee. OH MY GOD!
The Committee is was 50-50 split male/female. Historically, I found that when women were in meetings, the tone of encounter is generally on a higher plane. Maybe, it is a generational issue, or a life's priority issue but what I witnessed was not only penis wars but tit wars.
The Sr. VP leading the meeting at one point, stood up and yelled at the CIO. Ugh. After meeting with these folks all day, we had a one hour break, then dinner. The local members of the team, clearly didn't want to go home. It was awful. I've learned to say very little. The less they know about me the better. The jockeying for position was painful to watch.
After two hours, I cited jet lag and called a cab and retreated to my hotel room.
I tried to skip breakfast with these nuts, but they called my room. Somebody help me.
The next day, we focused on our Strategic Plan for 2009. 6.5 hours later, we came up with the same plan we had last year. You can't make it up.
At one point, an internal dialogue was screaming in my head...
This has to be a mistake.
I must have received someone else's invitation
I don't want my name attached to any of these initiatives.
I don't want or need any more projects
My head hurts
I want my Mommy
This article by Reid Hastie should be mandatory reading for anyone who schedules a meeting.
For what we accomplished, we could have had this session in a one hour conference call. I really did not need to spend two days on plane and three nights in a hotel room. More, importantly, I didn't need to spend that much time with those people. Far too much time was spent in these mind numbing meeting and not enough on state side employees who actually work.
Our company did great last year. But due to uncertainties in the world, wages for the minions have been frozen at least for six months. Ugh
I'm sure we don't have the exclusive on silly meetings which explains why the economy is in the tank.