I met someone at Amazon the other day, explaining how they deal with communication (spoiler: no PowerPoint):

  • For a decision, you have to write a memo (2 pages max), no slides / PowerPoint

  • The memo gets handed out in the meeting (no pre-reading), and people have 30 minutes to read it in silence

  • Then, the discussion follows, going straight to Q&A, no presenting

There are obviously some good things about this approach:

  • No time wasted on designing 100+ page PowerPoint decks

  • No time wasted in sitting through presentations where people are reading slides from the screen

  • Less risk that people will jump in the conversation without having done their homework

  • No pre-reading late at night after the kids are asleep

But…

  • Writing a good memo might be more time consuming/difficult then creating a quick presentation

  • Some information on which you want to base a decision is better presented visually than in paragraphs (pros/cons, graphs with trends, tables with financial data)

  • Sometimes, you actually need some time to ponder things over before making a big decision.

On balance, it is probably the right thing to do because it creates a strong cultural statement.

(BTW, I am going to experiment with uploading the cover images in colour, a nice change for 2019, what do you think?)

Photo by Luca Micheli on Unsplash

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