Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Town hall meetings

I remember that town hall meeting before the first round of reduction in forces we had to face back in 2002. I had several thousands of our employees in a hotel in Broomfield and I opened the QA so anybody could freely ask whatever they wanted. The layoffs hadn't been announced but the rumor was already quite strong, so the first guy who asked for the micro stood up and make his question: "It is said that there is going to be a RIF in the company, what can you say about that?" I looked at the guy and answered: "Do you volunteer?"

The whole auditorium froze and nobody else dared making any question related to such a matter that I particularly don't like (I left my position as CEO because I didn't want to fire anybody. I don't even like that euphemysm of calling a layoff a Reduction In Forces). The truth is that this guy was an actor I hired the day before so everybody had a clear picture of what was going to happen and I didn't have to answer innapropriate questions...
Why I'm telling you this story? Well, now I'm not the CEO and so I can answer more freely any question, so I'm opening a virtual Town Hall Meeting: you can send me your questions (reach me by any mean you find most suitable: phone, mail, meet me at the office...), and I'll post here your questions and my answers.

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