Put Down the Slides, Pick Up a Tablet, Occupy a Meeting

3 minute read
Marisa Peacock avatar

With so many disruptive technologies emerging in the marketplace, why are there still so many aspects of business life that seem to be immune to them? Movie theaters are designing sections exclusively for Tweeters, but the office boardroom is still void of tools that can foster collaboration and innovation. In a recent ebook, Alfresco sought to get to the bottom of things.

Take Back the Meeting


Death by PowerPoint, Resurrection by Tablet attempts to revolutionize the enterprise by inspiring us to put down the slides and pick up an iPad. But it’s more than just adopting new technology -- it’s a lot more about adapting a new culture into an organization. For Alfresco, the idea started with a doodle. It held a doodle contest that solicited doodles that showed how participants survived boring meetings.

The results revealed more than just a latent artistic talent. Rather, Alfresco discovered a world of “humor, humanity, curiosity and restless seeking of brain fodder.” (Many of the doodles submitted are featured throughout the book.) Office doodlers are not disengaged. In fact, they are extremely engaged -- just not with the meeting going on around them.

But how can you harness the power of a doodle? Alfresco turned to the tablet. But before it could engage the enterprise around a tablet, it would need to tackle the culture that permeates the typical organizational landscape.

Adopt a Pitch Culture

PowerPoint presentations are polished, often highly edited events, while pitching ideas is improvisational. By pitching more and presenting less, companies can help keep up with changing environments, engage in meaningful conversations and waste less time by watching presenters fumble through canned slides.

Share Information

Alfresco says that “Presentations are designed to shut people up, rather than get them talking.” And after a presentation, what happens to those slides that have been meticulously groomed? They get archived. They don’t get shared or talked about. In contrast, use of tablets in the enterprise seem to cultivate a culture of sharing, conversation, debate -- all of which can inspire and innovate.

Learning Opportunities

Make Time to Innovate

Speaking of innovation, many companies have done little to adopt open, collaborative models of working. Yet, when done correctly, employees can trade in predicability and control for autonomy and engagement, which can empower employees to make more than just great doodles.

Get Out of the Boardroom

If boardrooms lead to boredom, why not get out of them? Open spaces, coffee shops and lounges can foster better conversations and are ideal for tablets. If you must stay in a room, take advantage of that roundtable and have a discussion, not a lecture.

Don’t Make Meetings Passive

It’s a meeting, not a movie. Don’t just sit back, relax and watch the show. Alfresco asserts that all meetings should be working meetings. Considering that you’re at work, and that most meetings waste time, it seams reasonable to insist that when you’re meeting, you’re also working.

Forget Wall Street, Occupy a Meeting

What do all of these organizational tweaks have in common? They are ripe for content touching, as Alfresco says. In other words, ready for tablet devices to take center stage. From a tablet, you can share, search and collaborate no matter where you are. The fact that the ebook is available for the iPad (as well as PDF) is a step in the right direction. After swiping from page to page, don’t just sit there: Stand up and occupy a meeting.