Work on and off the table

Lou Gerstner describes a strategic meeting he chaired after he took charge at IBM in 1993. Managers sat at a large conference table with scores of assistants behind them, all listening to a PowerPoint presentation and engaging in little or no discussion. Gerstner was so frustrated by the lack of dialogue that he turned off the overhead projector, with what he calls “the click heard around the world”. Managers everywhere heard that the new boss was determined to have an honest conversation about the challenges facing the company.

Harvard Business Review, February 2004, p. 851

How often have you sat in a meeting and asked yourself: “What’s the point of this meeting?” “What I am doing here?” “What’s the ...

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