Business Meeting, with style

Continued from Welcome

The jury was pompously lined up seated behind the long side of the enormous meeting table, each member looking towards a small desk in the middle of the room. Had they been twelve it could have resembled to one of those great moments that changed history, to the student they seemed to be many more, and all eager to get it over with this one candidate as soon as possible.

“This is a suicidal strategy”

“I don’t recall Porter mentioning this business model, you are certainly referring to…”

“Sir, nothing to do with Micheal Porter, it’s your strategy that is suicidal”

“…” the business student, more surprised than hurt, was visibly struggling  under the attack from the professor on the far left, a department store specialist “let me explain….”

“Thank you Sir, you may go now, you will receive the results by post” concluded the president in the middle, with a compassionate smile.

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The Englishman was now looking for a catch phrase to attract sympathy from a crowd of woman sitting, standing, lying in front of him under the large roof covering the meeting Point in Kireka, Kampala, Uganda. They were waiting for him to say something to introduce himself and the American to the meeting, but his mind kept going back to those intense moments in front of the jury back home.

Somewhat troubled by the number of faces looking at him, he tried a Luther King approach in the opening of his speech but it wasn’t delivering the wanted effect: “We have come here for help, we need your help…”

The crowd was getting impatient, one woman clapped her hands, another stomped her foot to the ground, then a drum started a soft beat. As the speech went on, some hundred women were all standing and dancing, stomping their feet and shaking their heads.

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“I love you guys!” said the American and the crowd went loose, carrying the two white men on a carpet of black hands, dancing in an untidy circle..

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This was a business meeting. At least that was the official reason of this get together. Not quite what he had learned in business school.

For a moment he wished the jury had been there. Or not really a good idea.

This was the beginning of something, and those who knew were there to celebrate that very moment.

The women stopped dancing when one of them started her speech singing the first rime of a vaguely familiar song, followed by an impressive chorus till the two visitors were appointed two new names. The drum was still carrying the beat as the car slowly drove out of Kireka with it’s load of visitors.

“What’s the next step?” enquired the englishman reassured by the sturdiness of the four wheel drive Toyota.

“You tell us!” said the Italian coordinator adding with a broad optimistic smile “did you outline a strategy?”

Po! Paris

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