Are you tired of meetings that start with an endless slide deck? There is a simple solution: Get rid of the slide deck, and enable real meeting collaboration instead. Collaboration means to LABOR together — team members don’t just communicate, they actually work together, jointly build or solve something. To fully enable this, a company’s culture needs to get out of its presentation deck reliance and change how they approach meetings.
The Amazon way
Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, introduced a really disruptive meeting approach for his “S-team” of senior executives. Instead of having the typical presentation delivered at the beginning of a meeting, participants start with reading a 6-page memo. Quietly, for as long as 30 minutes. They make notes in the margins while the authors of the memo wait for Bezos and the other executives to finish reading.
Bezos’ approach may seem unusual at first glance, but its benefits are obvious: everyone gets the same, condensed set of information – and time to consume it. Everyone is fully concentrated on the actual meeting topic, and not distracted by email, phone or chat. And the requirement of a multi-page memo ensures that the meeting topic itself is well-prepared and well-communicated in advance.
Getting things done
There is another essential benefit of this approach: The remaining meeting time can then be used for real collaboration, like ideation or collaborative problem solving. Simply put, the meeting is about getting things done. It is a successful way to free up time for more effective meetings. And we see meeting cultures and technologies evolving to achieve this same goal.
Communication goes social
When looking at communication vs. collaboration in large enterprises, we observe that an increasing part of the communication is shifting to social software like Jive and Chatter. This shift has the same positive side effect as Bezos’ approach: the valuable meeting time can then be used for higher levels of teamwork: the 4th dimension of collaboration, as discussed in previous articles of this blog.
Meeting time is relatively expensive, and it is in the best interest of all stakeholders to make it most valuable as well. Look at your company’s culture with regards to communication and collaboration – where is room for improvement? What can be done differently, and substituted or supported by technology? And finally: Who could drive this change?
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- Interactive Flat Panel Displays for Group Collaboration – 3 Things to Consider - February 4, 2016
- Meeting Room Displays for the Modern Office - February 3, 2016
- iRoom Setup at BIM Show Live 2015 - April 14, 2015
- ROI Calculations in the UC&C Space: Let’s Get Personal - March 12, 2015
- Overcome “The Big Meeting Paradox” - October 14, 2014
- Meeting Collaboration: Going Beyond “Death by Slides” - September 30, 2014
- Visual Collaboration at Volker Wessels - June 12, 2014