Posted on November 8, 2010

I had expected this note would give you an exact date, preferably in December, to announce the launch of "Corporate Ties." Unfortunately, it will have to wait a bit longer. I've been slightly busier this fall than anticipated … we purchased a house, we're preparing for a baby in March, among other things. The good news is that once I have a decent block of time to devote to the book, I should be able to finish it.

Until then, here's a new excerpt from the book.

We gather in Chris’ office. We wait for Chris to speak, but he’s checking his email. I look around, wondering if someone else is going to talk. I reason that perhaps those who have gone to the Transfer of Knowledge meetings have been equipped with microchips, and are actually communicating with the mothership. Maybe the reception is better in Chris’ office than at our desks.

“Sorry, I’m just reading an email here from (Northern Lineage senior vice-president) Anita Williams,” Chris says. “She’s given me a list of meetings for tomorrow, Friday, next week ... ”
“None of us will be here tomorrow,” Ken says. “We’re going on the Cincinnati tour.”
“I’m not going,” Don says. “Unless they are furnishing a U-haul for all of my stuff. I’ll stay back and man the office. And no, I’m not going to any meetings, either.”
“I forgot about the trip tomorrow,” Chris says. “Luckily, the agenda tomorrow is light. However, there are a few next week. We just need a body at each.”
“Are these meetings specifically about our systems, like the one this morning?” Barry says. “I should go see if they have questions.”
“It’s not really that big of a deal,” Chris says. “It’s more of a meet-and-greet thing. They want to know the contacts in each area. There is an upcoming meeting about fund transfers, so you’ll be at that one, Barry. There’s one about the intranet, Jeff, so keep an eye out for that. The others, it doesn’t really matter to me.”

It’s a rare occurrence in the business world when someone requests a meeting invitation. A pointless meeting was the top answer on the board in a 2004 Microsoft study regarding productivity in small businesses. In other psychological research, it was found that those people who like meetings typically don’t like to finish the job, whereas employees who hated meetings were better workers and more focused. Of course, the studies never mentioned companies that had meetings to talk about how much they hated meetings. Or those other small businesses that always made sure there were drinks and strippers at their meetings, so that it would never been considered a wasted effort.

As for Barry, with his days as a stripper almost behind him, meetings weren’t always high on his list of priorities. In this case, it was more of a challenge, or a threat to his usefulness with Mettle.