Earlier today, I headed off to a two hour meeting with no idea what the training was all about. All I knew was that I didn’t want to go. Titled Governance Training, they tried to make the meeting more enticing by adding a Happy Hour afterwards. Getting out on time was all the happy that I needed.
Admittedly, I didn’t go into the meeting with the most open of minds. Still, there seemed to be a disconnect between the audience and the presenters. With senior management at the front of the room, I believe to make us feel their buy-in on the change in process, the presenters spent the majority of time looking directly at them. At times, one of the senior staff would stimulate a discussion which, in my opinion, would have been more appropriately discussed before such a meeting. The effect was that of a game show, with us as the audience.
All of the key words and phrases were brought out. We don’t want to be “like big pharma” was stated repeatedly. However, the model that was put on the table was so similar to BIG Pharma that many jaws in the room had to be propped up. With insistence that “Sharing is key” the slides went up. The content was overwhelming, the font was so small that it is doubtful that those in the middle of the room could make it out. And yes, I realize that I am being overly critical.
It is hard not to be critical when the presenter starts off saying “I did not make these slides so I don’t know what they say.” Another jaw dropping moment indeed. Perhaps there was a little too much streamlining in this process. Wouldn’t you think that some previewing and preparing before such an event would be in order? That’s just me.
After two full hours of training, I walked away with no new information. Even if they had held our attention, I am not sure what value it had to spew off acronyms, list out the stage gate processes, and display the org chart to reinforce just how lean the company is running.
As for Happy Hour, if there was any happiness in the hour that followed, I didn’t see it. Perhaps the guy, who sat in the back of the room, would find happiness in seeing his newly created paper airplane fly. Who knows?