Chairman’s Business Networking Blog Thursday 27th February 2014.
A great turnout, 24 members and 1 visitor Gary Waskett, soon to be member, rejoining as representative of Anthony Batty, Insolvency Practitioners. Jay French was at the meeting for the first time after being approved as a member and will be duly inducted next week
The meeting buzzed, as it always does when we have full table with almost all of the members present. Brian Painter and Marcelle are both away on holiday and Ed Crocker was the only other absentee.
Everything went well from the beginning. The Leadership Team all remembered who they were and what they did and immediately the meeting got under way we were treated to an Ed Slot that definitely arose and came in from left field.
Yes the Ed Slot contributor this week was Alan Shaw. It wasn’t bricks in cisterns this time, but possibly the historical equivalent. Apparently a couple of years ago Alan (and presumably his lady wife) were house guests of an Italian diplomat called Machiavelli, whose house is situated just outside Florence. Alan produced a book that this Italian gentleman had written called “the Prince”. Apparently this book was written in the dark evenings after he had come in from his day’s toil, such manual labour being the result of having fallen from grace…anyway, apparently, although his book was written mainly for politicians it can apply to the business community as well. He was obviously a latter day Deming and could do for the Italian business community what the said Deming did for Japan. Alan did not exactly say this but it was, sort of, what was being implied. I also think that Alan agreed to loan out the said treaties called The Prince attributed to his Italian host. Hopefully by this time next year we will all have read it in time for our next anniversary…… Oh yes, in case I forget to mention it later on in the Blog, this meeting was our third anniversary, happy birthday EBF!
When we arrived at the 60 second round we were all “up for it” and of course, having already been set an example of irrelevance by Alan Shaw the rest of us responded admirably.
Chris Sadler in particular recovered from being called Chris Smith, although I make no apologies for this, given his appalling writing.
Neil Lewer was selling custom made furniture to fit in the little holes that nothing else will go into and extolling the virtues of being able to have exactly the size drawers you want, although presumably if a piece of furniture was pushed into a little hole the drawer size would be limited.
Graham Wright has been moving people and I don’t think I was the only person to wipe away a tear when he sat down.
There were a couple of worthy quotes emerging. Who said, “the Abbey are up, Barclays are down and Nationwide is up and down”. I am not going to mention it, lets see if he owns up in our comments column.
Just when Alan Shaw’s influence was wearing off the great man rose to his feet and showed us a pen that he had been presented with and also a small baby’s bootie. What has this to do with architecture, or being an architect you might say…nothing.
On the sartorial side there were several contributions worthy of a mention; Jenni Pritchard was sporting a new Barclay’s uniform, these are presumably supplied instead of bonuses this year, Kevin Brooks had a rather nifty button down collared shirt to set off his rather severe haircut, but enough hair had been left on the top of his head to create a “Tin Tin” quiff. First prize must however go to Paul Booth for sporting a no. 1 that was somewhat reminiscent of Magwitch in Great Expectations. Apparently he has aquired some barber clients who can’t pay their bills. His almost shaven head rather eloquently supported the contention that “less is more”. Heaven knows what would happen if he ever got a plastic surgeon as a client who could not pay!!
By contrast some of our members tried to be soothing in their 60 seconds; Nick Cooke for example talked “peace of mind”…. “that’s what I do” he said. Peter Hood was looking for more of the same, and Kevin Radford, as if to recognise our anniversary brought out his first poem, which bore a striking resemblance to all of his other excellent rhyming renditions in that the penultimate line ended with a word that sounded like “RMK” and the final line did indeed finish with the letters RMK.
Calm did not last forever. David Plumley of all people referred to the acronym PUCK which apparently in IT circles is known as Potential Unwanted KCrap and whilst we were on the subject of Kcrap, Michael Adelizzi was explaining how the use of a Kango can allow him to deal with anything in a bathroom including cutting through a cast iron soil pipe. Hopefully, in doing so he did not come across any PUCK. David Plumley was awarding the Oscar and awarded it to Allan Moller who in only his second 60 seconds as a member, set out exactly the sort of work he is looking to do and how they did it. Well done Alan. Oh! And I almost forgot… Dawn Ribnell did manage to get her 60 seconds even though she had not put her name down on the members sign in. Accordingly she effectively brought the 60 seconds round to a close.
From the end of the 60 second rounds onwards the meeting focused on 2 things:-
1. EBF’s birthday, in relation to which the 10 minute slot was taken up partly with the annual review which will also be published on the website. We can celebrate a really excellent year that saw the opening and the establishment of a good sized Billericay meeting and really healthy returns on business passed. Lots of forward movements and the only cloud on the horizon being the fall off in membership.
2. The second part of the 10 minute slot and the concentration of the meeting was aimed at rectifying the membership problem. Our visitor’s day next week was considered in detail. Scott took us through the various aspects that we all had to concentrate on, including and perhaps most importantly, all turning up at around 6am so as to be ahead of the visitors. The second most difficult thing that was suggested was to make sure that you all follow up on the visitors that you have invited so that as we approach next Thursday we can be given as accurate as possible an indication of numbers.
Talking about numbers, £15,177.00 worth of business was recorded this week.
Let’s keep the pressure on ourselves to work towards what we hope will be a really effective visitors breakfast next Thursday.
You all know what to do………