Chairman’s Business Networking Blog, Thursday 25th February 2016.
It was our 5th anniversary and in keeping with our anniversary I presented the annual review to the meeting before we got under way. This review will be published separately on the Website. Headline Information related to an increase in business passed and recorded showing an increase of 24% and referrals by 12%.
Scott Griffiths announced the winners of the various categories. At Scott’s discretion points will be given to the members who can set out in the response to this Blog the names of all of the winners and their category.
There were 18 members present including Tina who we were pleased to see her able attend a full meeting. She seemed to be impressed by Howard’s bare legs. So she should be…… these particular legs have been exposed to the group throughout the winter and resulted in a target of £500.00 to be raised for charity being beaten. Congratulations to Howard and all who contributed.
Apart from Mr Bullocks legs, the Naughty Corner is very much reforming and increasing its presence at the meeting. There was a full turnout this week with Bullock, Smallcombe, Caldon in the vanguard. The Mikes, Rogers and Adelizzi are also now lending regular support. It was therefore with some disappointment that the 60 second round did not produce a better effort from the more esoteric School of Whimsy. they should represent a sensible challenge to the presentations of the (bordering on thuggery) Naughty Corner.
There were however some excellent 60 seconds presentations that showed slightly surprising attitudes.
Jo Jones was telling us of her wellness evaluation and was rather enticing in suggesting that our fat to body weight might not be as great as we think it is. It might be muscle. If you believe that you believe anything!!!
Stuart Smallcombe was particularly smug on turning out for Orsett Hall Hotel to do some emergency work relating to WiFi for one of the hotels VIP’s.
Donna was annoyed and I suspect the rep from the particular company involved this morning would have had their ears burning. I think Donna could be quite scary when roused….. anyone agree.
Nick Cooke and Alan Shaw stood up one after the other. Nick Cooke gave us a general overview of the work that he does, because he had been ill for a couple of weeks and Alan Shaw told of doing real work in trying to get planning permission for a bungalow to be built in the grounds of an existing house. With Brian Painter missing there was no whimsy to be had this week. There is a serious risk of disqualification for the members of said school if they do not come up to muster next week.
Mike Rogers, no doubt inspired by his position at the rear of the Naughty Corner tried to get away with two 60 seconds and finished up in 3 minutes telling us about the Choo and Loo family. For those who were not at the meeting, you will be pleased to learn that Cack Loo got a mention.
Jo Eastwood declared that she was repeating herself and that we should all drink more wine. I think you will find that wine makes you repeat yourself even more Jo.
Peter Hood continues with the stomach churning theme. This week an overflowing sink and foul water pipe producing a very interesting cocktail in the kitchen; just for a moment I thought the cause of it all was to be a dead rat but this was apparently a totally separate incident.
It was Terry Maylin who gave what can only be called “a businessman’s comfort” by indicating whilst businesses owed each other money there was interest of 8% payable and extra charges per invoice. The trick is to hold off suing someone as long as you can without them going bankrupt.
As a special treat, to acknowledge his efforts, Howard Bullock was allowed to present the Oscar this week in the absence of last week’s winner David Plumley. He was obviously impressed by Jo Jones’s wellness evaluation. Perhaps it was her suggestion that“girls would be jumping in at the end” that swayed him, but well done Jo.
The figure work was good; in excess of 23 referrals and monies recorded of £32,600.00, an excellent start to our new year.
Steve Roach’s first 10 minute presentation on behalf of Phoenix FM was a great success. He used his flip chart to good effect and gave us a run down of his own early career and the progress of Phoenix FM. We had a little spare time and therefore his 10 minutes quickly turned into 20 minutes but it was interesting, informative and certainly a source of ammunition for all of us who would like to try and refer people to the radio station. Excellent performance Steve.
Apart from wishing David Plumley well in his move I bid you all adieu until next week.
Chairman’s Business Networking Blog, Thursday 19th February 2016.
Only 16 members this week. Howard Bullock only stayed long enough to show off his legs on what was another cold morning. His individual bare legathon is drawing to a close. Final donations need about £100.00 or so to get to his target. Let’s make sure he reaches it!!!
So to the 60 second round…
On a cold morning Michazel Adellizzi’s under warmed tiles warmed the cockles. Has he discovered a new product that will overtake his outsized bogs…..surely not?
This week Donna Evans was birthday and blind girl. Panel blinds that were ultimately not accepted by the client and it was back to the drawing board. Does anyone know what a panel blind is…other than Donna.
Once again Alan Shaw was totally un-whimsical and told of a new scheme and an old scheme he was involved with; he had visited glazing manufacturers and inspected a 2/3rd acre site. He quite clearly gave the impression that he was an architect and knew the sort of work he was looking for. Someone should step in and stop him transferring his allegiance totally to the dark side.
With Howard gone and Stuart Smallcombe awol the Naughty Corner was depleted but Dean Caldon was kept company Messrs Adellizzi and Rogers. With the latter recruit it also worryingly means they gain control of a bell
Steve Roach explained the concept of festival fatigue which I think is one of those yuppie diseases.
It was Lewis Hackney that made us all sit up as he produced what looked very much like stock cubes but were in fact a wonderful type of pointing that doesn’t leave a stain and can be applied in half the time to paved surfaces.
Pride of place however went to David Plumley; he was pointing out the risk of losing data and did so with a ditty that was well-constructed and if not “Wordsworthian, Edward Learish. Kevin Radford’s poetic utterances have been missed. Mr Plumley’s invention represents a definite challenge to our Bard of Hadleigh. David won’t be here with us next week as it’s his moving day and if he continues to produce good classic verse he will soon be declared the Bard of his new location, Baddow. Let’s see where the muse takes him.
In our foreshortened meeting the 60 second round was immediately followed by the referrals section. This had us praising the meeting as if it were over when it was only half way through but the numbers were good, in excess £65,000 worth of recorded business was produced. Kevin Brooks sported five referrals which all in all was a very good effort as I believe he was substantially responsible for the monies recorded as received.
The rest of the meeting was effectively turned over to my Education presentation. It was a tribute to all present that not a yawn was spotted and I noted several members nodding their heads encouragingly. Whether this was in appreciation of the content or simply a desire to encourage me to bring the presentation to an end will never be known.
At the beginning of the meeting Scott had produced questionnaires for us all to complete by way of voting for the awards that will be awarded next week in our next anniversary meeting. Other than those on holiday may I beg a good turnout so that we can celebrate the completion of another year that in many respects have been the most successful and certainly ground breaking.
Until next week.
Chairman’s Business Networking Blog, Thursday 11th February 2016.
It was a morning for metallic monkeys to speak with high pitched voices.
We all, no doubt, had to scrape the ice of the windscreens of our cars.
19 hardy souls braved the elements for a visit to Mary Green Manor. The bravest of them all was Howard Bullock who was resplendent in shorts and red checked shirt. He demonstrated what the aforementioned monkeys would have lost in the freezing weather. For the second time in the last few weeks we were put in the small room behind the restaurant. Its benefit is also its detriment. The room itself does not lend itself to pre-meeting networking. To walk the length of the room beside the area set out for the breakfast was an intimate act for all concerned. By contrast however the meeting itself, when everyone was seated made a virtue out of intimacy and we had a thoroughly enjoyable meeting.
It was also slightly incongruous that 4 of the 6 apologies for absence were from people who were on holiday. Who says the referral system is not working… for some people…
With Mr Bullock back, the Naughty Corner had its leaders return to celebrate and all members thereof promptly rallied round. Messrs Smallcombe and Caldon were there with Alan Moller swelling their ranks.
By contract the School of Whimsy had only one representative, Alan Shaw. Temporarily deserted by his buddies he used his 60 second contribution to complain about the expectations clients have of the time scale involved in the early stages of designing and getting planning permission for a building.
What of the other contributions to the 60 second round.
Michael Adelizzi revealed that his father at one stage sold ice creams. It seemed that he used the name Suprema for this particular venture as well. Had he not ultimately gone for the tiles Michael might be selling “Suprema Icecreama ” .
Donna Evans revealed that amongst other guises she is also a blind lady but the disability didn’t show.
If you have a good story you should always milk it and Peter Hood managed to squeeze as much value as he could out of the “rat in the cistern”. He brought his photographs of the rodent and was able to confirm that the tank that contained the dead rat had been used for drinking as well as washing. The message…”check your lids”
Far more interesting was Lewis Hackney’s permeable paving. He illustrated with statistics how effectively permeable paving can disperse water with the suggestion that it was capable of resolving all of the problems with the floods they had up in Carlisle this year. There are lies, dammed lies and statistics.
This week Richard Reed gave us a choice of venue for him to tell us about, and the general consensus was Vegas. What particularly caught my eye…or rather ear…was that one particular package that included a visit to a venue that sported the wayward talent of “Steve Winn’s show stoppers”. If that doesn’t get them there Richard, nothing will.
There was a time in the Victorian era when mothers advised their daughters, when sitting, to keep their knees together. Jo Jones suggested that mothers should now be warning their daughters to keep their hips higher than their knees when sitting. To those in the Naughty Corner, who I could see were trying to think this through, the alternative of having your hips below your knees is unthinkable…particularly if you have not kept your knees together as originally advocated by Victorian mothers.
Scott Griffiths had a novel approach to his 60 seconds. He spent it pouring himself out a cup of tea from the breakfast table and bringing it back to his seat, the adding of milk and sugar brought the journey time to exactly 60 seconds.
We were spared a demonstration as to how he could deliver 60 seconds whilst drinking a cup of tea. As we all know, Scott has just passed his 40th birthday and he clearly is not going to grow old gracefully.
It is with Pride that I can announce that I was the winner of this weeks Oscar. It was my ability to deliver said 60 seconds “a la mode de” Barry White that inched it. Somewhat under the weather my deep rich resonance unfortunately stretched into the 10 minute slot but everybody listened very patiently and it was only Paul Booth, right at the end of the presentation who broke ranks and wanted me to declare “…my first, my last, my everything!!!!”.
Perhaps the only other thing of note to report in this Blog were the numbers. There were by the end of the meeting 24 referrals which beats the average.
Don’t forget that next week is a revised and foreshortened meeting to take in an Education Presentation. I hope we can continue to have good turnouts.
Chairman’s Business Networking Blog, 4th February 2016.
Once again a really good turnout with 22 members.
David Plumley delivered the Ed Slot and made very good use of the flip chart.
The topic was the divergence between a lead and a referral. The presentation on the flip chart comprised two circles joined by a line with another line leading off the bottom circle and some other strange lines. His point was that a lot of people do not distinguish between a lead and a referral and he was looking to clarify for us all the difference.
His starting point presumably was that none of us knew the difference just as none of us understood what his drawings on the flip chart were. Having now received the benefit of his explanation to us all I will try to clarify. There are two rings with two lines from them which presumably means two leads around a collar. One of the leads links the two circles. The other does not. The one that links the two circles is a genuine referral i.e. both the person receiving the referral and the one to whom it was directed were both aware of each other and or that the other should be making contact. The difference between that referral and the lead that is linked to nothing is that this lead is a suggestion that somebody be contacted and that person does not know. Accordingly that is represented by the line that does not link the other circle. I hoped that is all clear to you now.
What of our two pressure groups:
Well the Naughty Corner were without Mr Bullock once again and it does appear that he is the main cause of much of the naughtiness. They were definitely toned down this week but don’t forget, there are new recruits to watch out for in Michael Adelizzi and old Grumble Guts himself, Mike Rogers. I fear for us all when Howard returns.
The School of Whimsy just is not living up to its billing. Alan Shaw was doing a survey in Walthamstow Village and along with Nick Cooke who was talking about party wall work, they were both very much on message. I looked in vain for some inappropriate contribution by Brian Painter, but he was more concerned about his upcoming holiday. His eyes glazed over as he thought of lying in the sun and drinking a cocktail. Continued membership of this august body is being seriously reconsidered. There are other people who are knocking on the door!!! Alan Moller for example. His suggestion for a valentines treat was absolutely stunning. Adimmer switch in the bathroom !!!! You share your bath with your loved one under romantically dimmed lights. Nobody bettered that for Whimsy.
There were some faintly ludicrous perhaps or alternatively rather scary contributions.
Peter Hood found a rat blocking water in a cistern and conveniently had pictures of said rodent.
Paul Booth demonstrated by listing recent clients that he is doing his bit for integration if not immigration. He apparently can number Hungarian Business Coaches and Bulgarian Managers amongst his clientèle.
Pride of Place and indeed the winner of the Oscar was the every cheerful Mike Rogers, his grumble this week was once again a foreign element in his clientèle that I think rather baffled him. He told of a Dr Choo and a Mrs Chin, a Mr Loo and Mrs Ling, there was a child called U U Loo and an even more unpleasant character called Cack Loo. I suggest that Mike gets together with Jo Jones and see if she can produce training for him in Kung Foo.
Talking of Loo it was Michael Adelizzi’s 10 minute slot. An assured performance by Michael. He demonstrated on the screen more toilets than you could shake a stick at, it was certainly enough to satisfy the average Englishman’s flair for making lavatorial jokes. It’s good to have Michael back and it almost feels he has never been away.
Numbers were quite good this week; about 20 referrals and over £9,000 worth of business written.
The coming weekend was the ScotGear Challenge. Yes its Scott Griffith’s 40th birthday and he refuses to grow old gracefully. Several cars are travelling via Yorkshire to Edinburgh and back doing stupid things in the meantime. Allan Moller and myself were members who turned up to observe the entourage leaving. You were all given an opportunity to see Terry Maylin’s entry which was a well decorated Volvo, no…it’s not been in the army.
I can report that they won the second stage challenge by taking off a wheel rolling it around the car and putting it back on again in 2 minutes which was several minutes faster than everyone else.
No doubt Scott can update you in comments to this Blog which I will close with the apology that Scott’s absence and my involvement in the Friday meant that this Blog has not been produced as promptly as usual. Please however keep your comments coming.
Chairman’s Business Networking Blog, Thursday 28th January 2016.
21 Members present and one visitor John Flaherty.
Of the members Stuart Smallcombe was subbed by James White one of his company’s employees who gave a good account of himself.
The guts had been knocked out of the Naughty Corner in that Howard Bullock and Stuart Smallcombe were not present., However sometime stand in Michael Adelizzi joined forces with Dean Caldon and further re-enforcements came from an unlikely source,namely Mike Rogers added cynicism and grumpiness to the natural naughtiness of the corner itself.
The Education Slot was a treat this week with Brian Painter telling us a fable about a stonemason. Aforementioned stonemason had the ability to transform himself by simply expressing the wish to be something else. He went from stonemason to prince, the sun, a cloud, a mountain and then back to being a stonemason. I think the purpose the fable was to illustrate envy causing stress. It also showed a lack of imagination so far as the stonemason was concerned, even I could of have thought of lots of things to do with my transformation but hay ho…even if nobody understood the parable it was used by one or two of us in our 60 seconds notably Paul Booth. The stonemason finished up a client of his, saving lots and lots of tax.
So what of the 60 second round.
Michael Adelizzi gave us a walkthrough of him stripping out and refitting a bathroom. It could have been a voiceover on a documentary showing the work going on.
Donna Evans has been trying to impress a big Irish builder; Lucinda is looking for mortgage brokers.
As to the School of Whimsy, they remain intent on trying to demonstrate they are perfectly normal people. Alan Shaw is designing a glass roof to link a turret with a main building but it was later in the meeting that he excelled himself by indicating that he would quite like to run a sandwich bar. Nick Cook really played it with a straight bat; structural surveys and problems were totally on message and Brian Painter, fresh from his fable, produced a statistic that 1 out of four people visiting him are suffering from stress. It wasn’t the content but more the way he announced, it sounded like the opening to Star Trek, “STRESS!…the Final Frontier. These were the words of the Pilgrim the stress controller”. I think they will be at their Whimsical best next week…..they are getting there!
Dean Caldon unmercifully ripped into Purple Bricks ; having wetted my appetite I went onto their website. Truly frightening faces appeared being advertised as their resident experts for various parts of the Country. Come back Sarah Beeny, all is forgiven…or rather….. go to Redstones.
Scott Griffiths was threatening to attack weary old websites by poking them with a sharp stick. I suppose it’s better than a poke in the eye with a wet umbrella.
Jo Eastwood captured the imagination with a beer rather puzzling named “little things that kill” If she carries on like this there will be an invitation to join the School of Whimsy.
It was Terry Maylin who won the Oscar with his description of positively assisting a client who was an employee of Santander. His “kick ass” approach commended itself Dean Caldon who as a member of the Naughty Corner likes to see a bit of rough and tumble
It was from the 60 second round that we tumbled into the Meeting Secretary’s Report. By the end of the meeting almost £10,000 worth of business had been recorded and there were 20 referrals.
Our 10 minute speaker was Gill Willis who gave a truly professional performance illustrating exactly what she does and how she does it with the assistance of a screen presentation. I think she has now successfully managed to draw together all the strands of her business and we are all far better equipped to go out and find business for her…..so let’s do it.
I do not regard myself as an entirely sensitive person but I could not help being concerned about Richard Reeds feeling of isolation expressed in his comments to my Blog last week. Let me finish therefore by telling you that Richard Reed is trying to dissuade us all from going to Paris by suggesting that the hotel in the particular offer he had was rubbish; he seemed to regard the distinct possibility that you can be shot by terrorists as something either relatively inconsequential or rather exciting His suggestion was,go to to Paris, particularly if the wife wanted to do so….. but go for a different hotel. That’s the way to deal with Islamic Fundamentalists.
If none of us get blown up I look forward to seeing you all next week.
20 members present and one visitor Sam, a local Florist.
The Ed Slot was delivered by David Plumley himself and he made the all important point that we should always look after our existing clients, however necessary it might be to seek new clients.
Scott Griffiths reported on the Performance League and for the first time in many weeks the leader is Dean Caldon beating Paul Booth into second place…at least for the moment.
And so what of the 60 second round? Well things are starting to get back to normal. The Naughty Corner was in place minus Stuart Smallcombe who will be absent for a couple of weeks. Messrs Bullock and Caldon however were present and correct. May I first of all put right an apparent misapprehension. The aforementioned members of the Naughty Corner were trying to recruit other members tom join their dastardly crew, indeed it looked very much as if money was going to change hands. Please be advised that you are all figments of my imagination and your selection for any group, Naughty Corner or otherwise, is entirely in my hands. If you exhibit the appropriate behaviour I will allocate to you recognition. Michael Adelizzi strayed into the Naughty Corner but he has yet to prove himself. The other suggestion made over suitable candidates during the week was that Brian Painter might be a good candidate. However naughty he can be I am afraid he holds pride of place as a member of the School of Whimsy. I hope that clears everything up.
Apart from Mr Bullock’s attire, which retained the bare legged look, he and Mr Caldon were the epitome of rectitude in their 60 seconds. Howard Bullock showed how planning could help his clients. Nothing grand but simply a clear understanding of where all income into a household comes from and how best to invest. Dean Caldon also was clear in the value that he offered as an agent as opposed not only other agents but more importantly TV advertised agencies.
As to the School of Whimsy they have sadly become examples of the networking rectitude. I was looking for something more from them this week and I was slightly relieved that they rose to the challenge….sort of! Alan Shaw has had a couple of surveys this week, he would like lots more but not until April when brass monkey have headed north. He finished off his 60 second with a coughing fit which made you wonder at the sense in him going out on outside surveys. I would like to issue a reminder on behalf of all members to our architectural chum. Please do not go out into the cold weather without being wrapped up in a nice overcoat and muffler.
Nick Cooke has been doing the “structural stuff” but had the delightful job of having to survey the Leaning Tower of Barkingside, aka the Clock Tower of Barnardos. Apparently it is still standing and he will report to us on it next week. Finally Brian Painter told of a well to do lady who had an inferiority complex. Whose fault was it…of course it was her mother.
Highlights of the round came from Jill Willis who boasts clients as diverse as a Russian Marshal Arts expert who fights blind fold and a holistic therapist who does tapping and havening. In the light of certain scandals that have hit the news recently I really don’t want to know. Lewis Hackney created a very unpleasant image for us all when advancing the benefits of Astro Turf and going so far as to suggest that it was ideal for dogs. The thought of cleaning up after them on Astro Turf just doesn’t bear any further consideration. And then there was Kevin Brooks, 22 men in one house, he was stressed, there was water pouring into the lounge from a wonderful wet room…upstairs. I don’t know whether he was seeking a slogan but “CDM Rules…OK!!!”.
Marcelle was promoting the Garnet as the stone of the month. It appealed to me because of its cost, between £20.00 and £100,00 per carat…now all have to do is to convince e the wife. Donna Evans surpassed herself by producing elephant wallpaper, I was reminded of the cry of the circus “…roll up ladies see the greatest elephant in the world when it …..mind out lady, too late dig her out!” In Donna and Lewis perhaps we can spot a theme. It is not a problem though. With the excellent scrambled eggs everybody’s stomach felt settled.
Oh, and Dean won the Oscar…..that’s one for the Naughty Corner
So what of business passed; in excess of £29,000.00 recorded and 15 referrals made for a successful referrals round, but I am ahead of myself.
Richard Reed reported on the Business to Consumer Synergy Team meeting that was very successful. Remember, they meet on the third Monday of every month.
Terry Maylin reinforced last week’s education session by getting the recruitment drive back on track, we are looking for printers this week. Keep your eyes open and report to the prime seeker, Brian Painter or Terry.
It was Lewis Hackney’s turn for the 10 minute presentation. No Astro Turf in sight. It was an illustrated guide round the specific piece of landscaping they had completed to a very large house. There were sprinklers, rockeries and even a place for the badgers at the end of the garden. A very confident presentation that showed what really excellent work Aaron Paving do, an excellent performance Lewis.
Having been assured by our visitor that she was looking to return next week with the promise of joining we should look forward to welcoming her back.
I look forward to a good turnout next week.
Chairman’s Business Networking Blog Thursday 14 January 2016.
A turnout of 19 members found themselves in a much smaller room at the end of the restaurant at Mary Green Manor. Initial networking was very difficult but the seating area for our meeting proved very conformable and intimate and helped with what was a training meeting with the revised format to give time for the presentation regarding recruitment by Terry Maylin…. but I am getting slightly ahead of myself.
The shock of the new venue was pleasantly off set by the return of Michael Adelizzi, everyone was pleased to witness his return to the fold. Welcome back Michael.
This was the first very cold morning of the winter and Howard Bullock is to be commended not only for his garishly striped shirt but also the wearing of shorts.
By the time we got to the 60 second round it so bemused were we by our setting that the Naughty corner was scattered to the 4 winds and effectively ceased to exist. Come on guys weplease regroup.
The 60 second round produced a high level of content and at the time I thought it accordingly provided me with little material for this Blog but there were some notable exceptions.
In true Sesame Street style the letter “E” was very prominent. Dean Caldon talked not only about landlords now having to do the Border Agency’s work for them but also EPC’s. David Plumley talked about some sort of virus protection with ESET. Stuart Smalicombe will be exhibiting at the Excel Centre and Brian Painter described dealing with a chocoholic by use of EFT; points will be awarded the first of you who reply to this Blog and set out what EFTs stand for.
Jo Jones’s mission was to stop people saying “balls to it all”. I think she might be pushing against an open door.
Richard Reed told of cruising on a ship with 4 to 5 masts. I had visions of “Richard” the cabin boy, however it does not conjure up the same images as “Roger” the cabin boy.
Not only had the Naughty Corner disbursed but the School of Whimsy was in no way whimsical. Alan Shaw talked about building regulations approval and Nick Cooke talked about loft conversions. Ah well…maybe next week….
Paul Booth tried to capture all of our attention with reference to lap dancers and lots of tutors. Principally for David Plumley’s information Paul made it clear that his ladies used poles rather than laptops.
Pride of place with Oscar went to Steve Roach with his 60 second promotion of Phoenix FM.
So we left the 60 second round and went straight to the referrals round getting eventually up to about 20 referrals £29,000 worth of business was recorded which was a great effort.
We came to the central part of the meeting being the recruitment drive. Terry Maylin really picked up where Brian Painter left off and the nature of the intimacy of the room enabled us not only to have An excellent presentation from Terry but also a useful discussion afterwards about possible categories for us to chase. It was good to see everyone engaged in the issue of recruitment. It would be nice to see this carried over in the coming weeks as Terry maintains the flow of seeking out new visitors and new members. What today’s meeting did emphasise was the importance of a regular flow of visitors and how and why we should all be constantly vigilant in seeking to invite people to our meeting and up our membership.
I look forward to seeing you all next week in what hopefully will be more warmer conditions outside.
Chairman’s Business Networking Blog, Thursday 7th January 2016
It was like a scene from Tom Brown’s School Days; the beginning of a new term.
22 Members piled into Mary Green Manor throwing their satchels and books onto the places set out at the meeting breakfast table. Excitedly they drank coffee and orange juice and exchanged stories of the hols whilst wishing each other Happy New Year. There were the smug ones who attended Jo Jones’ Boot Camp before the break; the excited who had overseen Christmas Day complete with children and grand children; and then there were just the plain relieved who had had the pleasure if dispensing Christmas and New Year frivolity to impassive and grumpy aged relatives.
The first Ed Slot of the New Year was presented by Scott Griffiths who in true boy scout tradition emphasised the importance of being prepared, particularly with reference to the 60 second round but also generally in relation to your business, to attending meetings and to generally conducting yourself in a positive way. This particularly important message was emphasised by Scott himself when reminded by David Plumley at 6.50am that he was doing the Ed Slot, his face momentarily drained of colour and then he scuttled off to the table to ensure that he was prepared.
Whilst talking of Scott, and on sartorial matters, he was wearing a pair of green but with a hint of black socks illustrating that there is in fact a Father Christmas and that there is an element of the indiscriminate about the distribution of presents. No less presentable and in a thoroughly stunning matching outfit was Brian Painter who stood from head to foot in what could be described as Khaki. Shirt, tie, trousers, shoes, all matched. If you feel I have missed anybody out in my fashion review please mention them in your comments to this Blog.
The 60 second round had a theme of New Year’s resolutions that you were intending to make or relevant to your business.
The Naughty Corner were particularly in evidence although they did not have a theme as far as their resolutions were concerned. Indeed they were somewhat diverse. Dean Caldon was going to do something different in marketing and grow his lettings portfolio. Stuart Smallcombe was very well behaved in announcing that he had resolved to prepare much better for his 60 seconds and on a business level simplify things, get back to basics. It was wet and it was dark and he was still wearing his shorts (and wearing a rather fetching red check shirt) but Howard Bullock was not having any of it. Resolutions were counterproductive, were a weight on your shoulders and he for one was not going to make one. He is however looking for administrative support as the year progresses. We would all settle for a resolution from him to permanently turn up in shorts…or maybe not.
It was Paul Booth, a recent deserter of the Naughty Corner who put us right. It is plans, not resolutions that we should be making. Resolutions are almost by their nature, there to be broken. Plans have a more permanent ring about them. Lucinda “Noddy” Wilson was with him on this, she said that she had written down all her goals. There you see… goals ,plans, not resolutions, she apparently meditates and is looking for an office.
What of the School of Whimsy? Surely they should be able to produce something esoteric on the subject of resolutions. They did not disappoint. Alan Shaw acknowledged that any resolutions tended to “peter out” as he put it and finished up with the declaration “don’t do today what you can put off until tomorrow”. Nick Cooke promised to be more dynamic, to make his 60 seconds less dull, less predictable. Don’t worry Nick, if we are all bored to death knowing exactly what you do you probably have succeeded in achieving the purpose of your weekly 60 seconds. Brian Painter declared himself simply there to help people fulfil their smoking resolutions (about giving up that is).
Jo Eastwood caught the spirit of January. She is helping promote dry January by promoting dry wines. The girl will go far!
Pride of place however had to go to Kevin Brooks who is looking to work smarter and also earn more money. Yes you guessed it, he has lots of holidays lined up. He was promptly awarded the Oscar.
Other things of note in this first meeting of the New Year included the 10 second presentation by Paul Booth. He was all tooled up and used the projector to good effect. We were shown the Hermitage when more than just one of our members carries on business from and then ran through what he had to offer. It was very much Paul’s day. For being the most consistent member of the group in the passing of referrals and general work in promoting the group he received the Good Egg Award to hold for this coming quarter.
The referrals and testimonials round was equally positive and lively as it should be as the first of a new year. There were 30 referrals passed and in excess of £7,000.00 worth of business recorded which gets us off to a good start.
For next week I am hoping that we can maintain our good attendance record. Particularly because it will be the shortened training style meeting so that we can take stock of and look to the future in relation to our recruitment. Terry will be looking to review contacts made last year and plan for this year. This is an important aspect of moving the group forward and a full attendance would be very useful from everybody’s point of view.
I look forward to seeing you all then.
Chairman’s Business Networking Blog, Thursday 17th December 2015.
20 festive members chatted, drinking orange juice and coffee, in anticipation of the final meeting of the year that is known as “the Brian Painter Experience”
Robert Dennis from our sponsored Charity SNAP was present and emptied the pig, supervised final donations and finally took a group photo. Our best wishes for Christmas and New Year to everyone there.
All members had made the effort. Christmas pullys abounded and the 60 second round reflected a lot thought having been given to the presentations. There were songs, there were poems and amidst a general feeling of Bonhommie and good will all sectarian divisions were forgotten. Naughty Corner mixed with Scary Section and the School of Whimsy just generally floated around.
There was singing, from Peter Hood to Kim Redwood-Lee. Both displaying their mediocre talent in that regard but pick of the bunch was Lucinda Wilson who produced a very tuneful, with reworked lyrics of the Noddy Holder favourite which will now mean she will be hereafter referred to as “Noddy”.
There was an abundance of verses and the pick of the bunch being a Jill Willis rendition based on “the Night before Christmas”. She won the Oscar by a short head from Noddy.
Several members had pullovers with flashing lights with Kim the pick of the bunch.
A defiant member of the School of Whimsy, one Alan Shaw, was musing on chimneys, Santa, and his own wood burner which he apparently had to fix. The cure I think was paper wood and lighted match. Well done to everyone for making the effort and making it an excellent 60 second round.
We then had a referrals round which saw £12,500.00 worth of business recorded and 22 referrals passed which once again was in excess of the numbers of members present.
And so just before 8 o’clock the Brian Painter experience began. This year he had a warm up act, Paul Booth came down the stairs to an appalled audience to reveal his skills at stand up. Everything he does with regard to EBF he tackles energetically and there was no difference in his performance which was unscripted and drew heavily on Tim Vine. Likewise with Mr Painter, who produced his quiz with jokes in between each question. Brian’s quizzes are always likely to cause controversy and dispute more over the question than the answer. When we departed we were all slightly wiser. We knew that the inhabitants of a South American Country ate more Guinea Pigs per head per annum than they ate baked beans and we learnt that statistically a majority of people bite the head off their jelly baby first and either men or women do it more frequently although I cannot for the like of me remember which was round it was. Towards the end of the quiz exhaustion was starting to set in. We don’t like to concentrate that hard that early in the morning but by the time we got to Secret Santa it was almost 9 o’clock anyway.
I was left with one thought regarding Secret Santa. I wonder how many of us have kept the wrapping on our present and put it under the tree. Anyone willing to own up to that!
So the EBF calender year is over. I have had the privilege of taking the “mick” out of all of you for the last 12 months and I have been able to write about excellent performances as far as business passed was concerned. Our actual year ends in February and it’s heading towards an almost best every year.
I am looking forward to starting up all over again on the 7th January 2015 when I will continue cajoling you in this Blog. Indeed I would like to sign off with a small cajole. I hope you all have an excellent Christmas and New Year, put on that extra weight that will enable Jo to help you remove it but, after such a long break please make sure that we have a full attendance at our next meeting.
Chairman’s Business Networking Blog, Thursday 10th December 2015.
As we start to settle in at MGM we embarked upon our second revised Agenda to allow for our second Education Presentation.
We finished up with 21 members present and 1 visitor Teresa Tudge, a recent recruit to Hugo Heij’s business coaching organisation.
As we leapt straight into the 60 second round things were getting back to normal. The Naughty Corner’s core membership of Caldon, Smallcombe and Bullock was firmly ensconced. I can announce however that Paul Booth has renounced his flirtation with this ill behaved troop and is looking to start his own breakaway group that he would like to have named the “Scary Section”. His frequent reference to ice breakers at parties and other family gatherings certainly qualifies him for this nomenclature. It remains to be seen whether others step-up to the plate in the coming weeks or whether it withers on the branch. Unfortunately for Paul, it is my decision is whether this happens or not and you will have to read my Blogs over the coming weeks to see whether this is anything more than a twinkle in our revered accountants eye.
The School of Whimsy was much better represented and also in its presentations more typical. Nick Cooke was called out to a little cottage at the end of an unmade road to advise on the removal of a spiral staircase. This was apparently something of a conundrum but apparently he solved it. He neglected to tell us how! Its true to say that Alan Shaw declared that as an architect he designed buildings but he then went on to hint rather darkly that his week had been engaged in trying to finish a job. Once again a little sparse on detail. Brian Painter appeared rational as he started his 60 second presentation but veered off into the land or Whimsy. Pleasant things can cause stress as well as unpleasant things. He explained how his non invasive procedures could help resolve stress of any kind but his suggestion that preparing for Christmas day festivities represented a pleasant thing showed that he was off with the fairies.
I do feel I can induct Jo Jones into the Scary Section; every week that she stands up some of us quake in our boots to see what item of torture she is going to recommend. This week was what appeared to be an innocuous set of scales that had hidden a handle that you pulled up to your chest and it told her everything about you. It did look as if it might have wheels and you had to negotiate corners doing all of this. Jo’s team leader Paul Booth was once again giving examples of ice breakers. Another candidate for his splinter group is Lucinda, she donned a pair of fake reindeer antlers with bells on pointing out that many employers who work over Christmas do not create a festive atmosphere. The suggestion is that if they can’t be bothered to do that for their staff they should give them the time off and get temporary staff. Pretty scary eh!
As for the Naughty Corner, Howard Bullock, still sporting his shorts and a lurid checked shirt told of a life cover/ trust scheme to assist a daughter with learning difficulties. Stuart Smallcombe was more entertaining. The Royal Opera House project of which his company is a part told of a wall that needed knocking down, the problems in obtaining permission including planning and then the knocking down of said edifice only to find it was the wrong wall. It’s the sort of story that would be ideal to be set to an Opera. Dean Caldon on the other hand was conspiratorial in presentation, almost whispering his cut price deals for the new year. Fixed priced management fees at a rate to die for and a commission rate for selling houses that created an impression that he was giving them away.
The final thing of note that I have recorded was Richard Reed’s announcement that his 50 night cruise for £2,299 per person had attracted a fantastic amount of interest…but no bookings. He then went on to mention rather darkly something about balaclavas. I did not know whether that was something to do with what you wore when you went on the cut price skiing holiday at £477 per person.
So many different images created by the 60 second round that I have completely forgotten who won the Oscar. Other than Paul Booth who was awarding it, points for the first person (other than the winner) to set the record straight.
Peter Hood was not in attendance and I am wondering whether I have upset him. His excellent 10 minute presentation last week went totally unrecorded by me. It’s not often I miss an opportunity to talk about things lavatorial. His presentation contained the before and after illustrations of toilets of all shapes and sizes. He helped illustrate that bathroom is not just for Christmas, come back Pete all if forgiven.
Our new format led us straight into the Meeting Secretaries Report and the Referrals and Testimonials round. As many referrals as members present which is always a good sign.
It was Tony Blair who referred to Education, Education, Education. It was Brian Painter who delivered said commodity. The subject was referrals which is at the heart of our meeting and one of the principal reasons that we should be turning up. His message was that we should all be focused on giving referrals. If we all do that, we will receive them in abundance. His presentation hopefully helped new members with any concerned they had over how to fill in the referral form and reminded all of us of the need to “think referrals” more than we do, whether with friends and family or without business contacts keep referrals in the back of your mind when conversations turn to what people want or haven’t got. Congratulations Brian on a very useful contribution. Also for sending Bullock minor to the Naughty Step!!!
I will leave you all with reminders regarding next week when there will be lots more Brian Painter. You will all have to think about Christmas Pullys; a fiver to charity or ten quid if you do not wear your pully; the scenario for your 60 second presentation should include a reference to a Christmas Carol and last but no means least, do not forget the secret Santa… that the androgynous present fully wrapped, value approximately £10.00
Next week is not to be missed…by anyone!!!!