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How We Communicate

Nov. 3, 2021
In those face-to-face, or more likely these days, video-conference meetings, how many of the following clichés have you encountered?

Here’s an example of how employees in technical companies communicate. I’m sure you’ve heard it all before.

Assume a Microsoft Teams meeting online with four people. The group is meeting to decide how to develop a new product with the main discussion concerning whether to try to do this in-house or hire some new talent. It goes something like this:

John: We are here to decide if we have enough bandwidth to create the proposed new product. Do we have enough expertise to bring to the table? After all, it is a cutting-edge product. It is one that provides additional synergy to our already existing product portfolio. Anyone have some initial thoughts?

Hector: If we are going to get into this new market, we are going to have to move fast and hit the ground running. Much of the expertise is not part of our core competency. Most of us would have to take a deep dive into the subject and with our current workload. Do we really have the time? I vote for hiring some targeted new people.

Andrea: I am on board with that. It is what it is. We all have more on our plates than we can handle. Let’s go for the new hires.

Sumir: I second that motion. If we are going to take this to the next level, we are really going to have to show our VCs we can move the needle on this one. What exactly is the deliverable?

John: Agreed. We do not have much to bring to the table in-house except for the possibility, starting with the low-hanging fruit and handing off to some experts to finish. After all, we don’t know what we don’t know. The deliverable is to be defined.

Just remember it is going to take time to find the talent we need and bring them up to speed. None of us here have all the knowledge to do the job. It’s a lot to unpack with our already full load.

Hector: What about promoting our newest engineer to run this? He seems to know all the best practices and probably has the bandwidth to handle it. He seems to be coming into his own.

John: Maybe. So, are we all on the same page here? Does everyone buy in? We will hire some new people to get the job done. One of you is going to have to manage them and the project. Can you do this Andrea? Andrea, you and Hector take this off-line and come back with some ideas. At the end of the day, we need a decision on this. Sumir, create us a to-do list to make sure we check all the boxes.

Sumir: Will do. By the way, are we going to be able to incentivize the new hires?

John: I don’t know the answer to that one. I will have to circle back to you on that.

Anyway, here is my two cents on this. We must get our ducks in a row and take that all important 10,000-foot view. Be sure it is on your radar.

We need to step up, come together, and move forward. We also need to leave no stone unturned and level the playing field if we are to have a robust seamless integration of the old and new.

Andrea: You know that we can’t always have our cake and eat it, too.

John: If that is the case, we will just double down and bring more to the table. If we end up with too many irons in the fire, we can always kick the can down the road. Whatever. At the end of the day, remember that the cure may be worse than the disease. You can thank your lucky stars that will not come home to roost. Totally.

END OF CALL

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