And the pundits cry “Lo, let there be a time of No Flip Charts”
Johnnie Moore calls for No Flipcharts
I would like to propose an International No Flip Chart Week. During this period, no one will leap up in the middle of meetings and attempt to capture what’s being discussed on a flip chart
I apologize for ripping on Johnnie specifically (as he is just my own personal tipping point of annoyance), but I’m getting sick of the rhetoric of New Thinking that the blogosphere (and the world of consultants) is bloated with. The formula is simple: take an widely held belief or established behavior and lead off with a screeching pronouncement about how it is untrue, dangerous or wasn’t ever true, or shouldn’t be true or used any more.
Flip Charts are BAD!
They are? I think the frustration is misplaced when directed at a tool. Meeting that are poorly facilitated, with unclear agendas, bad content, different unarticulated motivations for participation, and underskilled attendees – those are the problems we need to focus on. Not by forcing people to use or not use a tool because that tool automatically equates to bad behavior? I’ve been in my share of meetings, and I can’t really think of how the flip chart was ever to blame, or provided a temptation for a behavior that we wanted to avoid.
I mean, sure, you’ve got the dickhead who uses the marker and flip chart to control the meeting. But shouldn’t we get the dickhead out of the meeting (or, better yet, get me out of having to meet with the dickhead) rather than get rid of the flip chart?
So here’s my new proposal. Let’s get rid of the floors in meeting rooms. Haven’t you ever been in a painful meeting where there are no creative ideas or innovative discussion taking place? What else is there to do but tap your toes on the floor! I say, let’s get rid of the floors. Now when the meeting is going south you will have no other choice but step up (carefully) and use your own facilitation skills to get the group headed in the right direction.
You won’t ever be called on the carpet in front of the team, because there will be no carpet! There will be no floor! No floors! No floors! NO FLOORS! I urge you to join me in the new business movement, no floors, don’t settle for the bottom, move to the top, the floors have got to go back to the basement where they belong. And tell ’em who sent you – Steve Portigal with the Steve Portigal NO FLOORS movement. I am a genius. Please hire me. No floors!