The saga of Hedger Corp, told in weekly installments. (Previous stories here.)
I realized the other day that 2017 has already started (when did THAT happen?), so Hedger Corp needed some new annual goals STAT.
I hired Coach Kent to lead a 120-hour goal-setting workshop, starting on Sunday. He was still a little shaken from the whole team-building debacle last year, but he decided to give our group another try.
We held the workshop at Coach Kent’s office. He woke up early on Sunday to get ready, but then fell back asleep while his coffee was brewing.
When he finally woke up again, he realized he was going to need a lot of caffeine to get through all 120 hours. Coach Kent needs two pots of coffee every morning to even function, let alone energize and motivate a group.
While he waited for my team, he downed three pots.
Eventually he started feeling more alive, and put up his favorite inspirational signs.
Then he drank another two pots of coffee. By the time my staff arrived, he was in full “Coach Kent” mode.
Coach Kent did some impressive lunges and shouted “goals!” a few times. Then he had to run to the bathroom.
When he returned, he was surprised to see a huge water buffalo standing in his conference room, chewing on cud. The employees explained that this was our mascot, and they brought him to inspire the goal setting.
Coach Kent and the water buffalo sized each other up. Neither liked what they saw.
The buffalo was banished to the balcony. Then Coach Kent started shouting about “core competencies,” “paradigm shifts,” and other critical issues.
Ann’s mind wandered. She envied the mascot, out on the balcony, enjoying the fresh air, socializing with the birds. Was there some way to join him? she wondered. And was it her imagination, or was the mascot smirking at her?
Meanwhile, Coach Kent could feel his caffeine high waning. He ordered the employees to perform a “Gap Analysis,” and report back to him. As they began discussing things, he darted over to the coffeemaker and downed another few cups. For good measure, he added a bottle of Red Bull.
The employees completely misunderstood the “Gap Analysis” assignment. Instead of analyzing gaps in Hedger Corp’s operations, they started analyzing the U.S.-based clothing store called GAP. But none of them shop there, so they decided to analyze other stores instead.
Ann spoke passionately about the clothing store Chico’s. Then Bob revealed his deep love for Chess King, a men’s store that specialized in bold-patterned dress shirts. The store peaked in the mid-1980’s but later fell into bankruptcy and closed. Bob grew very emotional as he recalled the closure.
Ann presented the group’s “Gap Analysis” summary, but by then Coach Kent had worked himself into a caffeinated frenzy. He couldn’t stop stretching, jogging around and yelling “optimize!”
Unfortunately, the Chico’s/Chess King discussion was the most productive point of the entire 120-hour meeting.
The rest of the time was spent eating, sleeping, watching old DVDs that Coach Kent owned, and trying to moonwalk (Derek was very good).
When the workshop was one hour from ending, the employees realized they had not set ANY goals. None! The only thing they had to show for this week-long meeting was knowledge of the Chess King bankruptcy and a newfound appreciation for the hit television show The Love Boat.
Unfortunately, Coach Kent had run out of caffeinated beverages around the 1115-hour mark, and had become unresponsive.
Everyone began to panic.
Ted drew the short stick and had to approach a nearly catatonic Coach Kent to beg for help.
All Coach Kent could do was whisper random words. Desperate for any leads, the employees printed out the words and shuffled them up. Then they tossed them in the air and hoped for inspiration to strike.
Strike it did! The team decided that this year they would focus on two main goals:
They all agreed that “optimizing innovative leverage” would most likely help Hedger Corp succeed in 2017.
The moonwalk goal wasn’t as pertinent to the business, but would boost employee satisfaction.
With that, the 120 hours were up. The employees retrieved the mascot and packed up their things.
Mercifully, Coach Kent collapsed before seeing the “results” of his 120-hour goal-setting workshop.