January 31, 2012

And the Agenda for Today’s Meeting Is….

By Paul Bieber

Bud and Lou are two partners in a nice-sized glass shop. Let’s use our hidden microphone and listen in to an argument they are having.

Lou: Hey, Bud, I just got your email saying there was going to be a foreman’s meeting at 2 pm. What’s going on?

Bud: Lou, these guys need to learn about the newest low-E glass. Also, there have been some problems with the Laurel job and the Hardy house is a day behind schedule. We’ve got a lot to cover.

Lou: That certainly is a lot for a 30-minute meeting.

Bud: Oh, it may run longer, but that is OK with me.

Lou: Bud, don’t you think we should tell the crew this agenda so they are ready with answers and can do research on the topics?

Bud: Nah, I want to catch them off-guard on the two slow job-sites. It is the best way to get to the bottom of the problems.

Lou: All you are going to hear are excuses and guess work. Let’s send out a formal agenda so the guys are prepared.

Bud: You know I don’t like to do agendas. Then I am stuck following the script. What if another idea comes up that needs discussing?

Lou: Hey, Bud, lighten up. You want the guys to cooperate with you. Let them know it will probably run long. Let them be comfortable giving you the info. Don’t make them antsy about coming to a meeting with you.

Bud: Lou, we have had this discussion before. Get off my back. This is my style. When you run a meeting, you send an agenda, everyone is prepared to answer questions, but you don’t get the real dialogue of people contradicting each other. My way works better!

Lou: Bud, you are my best friend and this business reflects both of our styles. Do your thing.

So, friends in the glass industry. Are you Bud or Lou. Do you want to stir up the pot and maintain pressure like Bud. Or do you respect people’s time and send out a good agenda before all meetings. Since I get to write the script, I vote for Lou’s style. How about you?