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Microsoft retools the meeting standard

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in Leaders & Managers,Workplace Communication

Steven A. Ballmer, Microsoft chief executive, says that he and Bill Gates used to like meetings where the presenter took the long and winding road—or where a presenter describes his winding path of exploration and his ultimate conclusion.

If the presenter were to cut straight to the conclusion, their thinking went, you’d get a lot of people circling back to ask, “What about this? Have you thought about this?”

Now, though, Ballmer feels the practice is inefficient. He espouses a different approach to meetings.

“Most meetings nowadays, you send me the materials and I read them in advance. And I can come in and say: ‘I’ve got the following four questions. Please don’t present the deck.’ That lets us go, whether they’ve organized it that way or not, to the recommendation. It gives us greater focus.”

—Adapted from "Meetings, Version 2.0, at Microsoft," Adam Bryant, The New York Times.

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