This is what we sound like to others:
“Did you get the thing from what’s his name?”
“Yes, and I left it on your desk next to the folder about the …”
“Oh right? Did she sign that or are we …”
“… no we’re supposed to do the …”
“Oh! So then we don’t need to finish the …”
“No! It’s been done but if you could find the …”
“I’ve got it! It’s right here next to your …”
“Glasses! Thanks for finding them!”
So for two people who regularly finish each others’ sentences, mumble incoherent phrases that are completely understood, and know what one is thinking even before the other has realized it, you might just wonder … do we really need to spend more time together on a corporate retreat?
Although we spend half our lives together, and are expert at putting out fires or reacting to immediate situations, when do we ever get to think, and talk, and strategize and plan? Not often enough. So a few years ago, we decided we needed a corporate retreat. And of course, doing it in the back room of our store or at the nearest Starbucks wasn't what we had it mind. Naturally we devised the ingenious plan of having a board meeting that also involved a few other important business decisions that could only take place ... in Paris!
The best proof of how much we think alike, after all these years, was a comparison of our agendas, which, although crafted separately, were eerily similar, down to every topic, with one slightly wordier version (I wonder whose?).
It was a perfect excuse to get away during the winter doldrums, shop our favorite trade shows in Paris and set up an ambitious agenda that would have kept us up talking for 3 nights straight if we had decided to follow it! But it was also good to know that between scouting new trends, falling in love with new products and meeting new vendors, over those lunches and dinners that we always insist on taking, there was a structure to our conversations with an official note taker, follow up memos and a road map to guide us.
So what’s the gist? After four days of board meetings in Paris, we produced a new and refreshed Huff Harrington. She may have gained a few pounds and might have found a new fondness for Armagnac (“can we sell this in the store?”), but through the delicious meals and late night talks, came a commitment from us to delegate more, to think out of the box, to expand creative opportunities, and to risk new business ventures.
If you are our competition, should you be scared of what the new and improved Huffington Howl might sound like? Well not to worry quite yet, because as we all know, there is such a thing as Huffington Hooplah, and talk is cheap until it’s put in to action. And whether or not some of our life changing decisions will ever come to be, there is one thing for sure: We are ready to sign up again for the next board meeting!
The last agenda item from our board meeting was the need to step back, assess and press the refresh button every year. That and the need to shop for the store and scout new experiences for our upcoming buying trip in March led to another familiar discussion, that went along the lines of:
"Have you heard that this year the two shows in Paris are ..."
" Simulatenous! The French have finally made it easy for us to ...
"Save money so we can do both at the same time and ..."
"... have another board meeting in Paris?" (Oui oui, svp!)
So with frugality on our side and justifications up the wazoo along with a lengthy agenda and several fairs to visit, we know exactly where our next board meeting will be ... because, to paraphrase Audrey, Paris is always a good idea!
P.S. Don't miss one of our most popular art shows: A Grand Affair, which opens this Friday at Huff Harrington Fine Art! This is the show for up and coming as well as seasoned collectors, with all the art priced a grand and under ($1,000).