Resistance (apparently) will be futile

From Lindsay Blakely, at Business 2.0 magazine comes this news: Accenture has developed a computerized device called “Personal Performance Coach for type-A execs”. Basically it’s a Bluetooth phone-like thingy you leave in your ear at a meeting. If you want it to remind you to talk less, it senses your voice and tells you when you have talked more than your fair share.

Is this what we’ve come to, corporate America? Automated reminders to shut up? Would you feel comfortable working for a boss who sat in a meeting with a Borg-like headset? One who jabbered along, then all of the sudden rolls his eyes back in his head listening to the Mother Ship instruct him?

I have a much better system. If you are a boss and feel you talk too much in meetings, drink a lot of water before the meeting. A lot. Thirty minutes in you’ll need to go to the bathroom, so you’re going to want to hurry the meeting up – which means you have to let everyone get their bit in.

When I read articles like this, or spend some time on the Bing blog, I wonder why it ever gets to this point. Is it just that executives are so clueless about their middle management’s (or senior management’s) activities? I guess so.

But if I find myself, as a consultant, in an office where everyone walks around with a headset in their ear telling them how long to talk – or eventually, how long to spend at the water cooler – I’ll know it’s time to drop out and find a job in construction with my neighbor Lawrence.


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