Bingo Meetings.

This post is going to make sense only if you have seen this not-really-funny and what-is-the-message-here ad for these chips brand ‘Bingo Mad Angles’.

This ad does a poor job of its original intent but does a brilliant job of helping visualize another metaphor.

It has this conference room with some executives (and this why-the-f***-is-an-arab-here-in-this ?!?) debating the perfect ‘angle’ of the chip being advertised. Perfect angle for what end ? Doesn’t say.

It’s an utterly pointless meeting with an utterly unknown agenda.

Where have YOU seen that before ? An hour ago you say ? Exactly!

I always wondered what breeds it ? This obsessive need to call for meetings to debate or discuss minutiae that, if examined carefully, is (a) part of the job description of someone at the table if only that culprit was more decisive (b) too minor to waste everyone’s time on.

Most of the time the meeting stems from a {‘Cover my Ass, Let me diffuse this decision ownership so no one can pin it on me’} mentality and is rarely coming from a need to increase the end decision quality. Lord knows I have been guilty of it on too many to count occasions.

Dr. Alex Lickerman, over at Psychology Today warns that the decison quality of large companies suffers because of their size, which is often directly responsible for daily errors and omissions of communication. Further, the larger the company, the more responsibility for outcomes becomes diffused, often preventing any one person from feeling accountable for the quality of any one project.

And a meeting is one of the most expensive ‘things’ a company spends money on. The more senior the participants, the more it costs. This is obvious but behavior doesn’t allude to it. Reid Hastie is Robert S. Hamada Professor of Behavioral Science at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business helpfully suggests 3 things you can do to ensure you stray off into Oz in your meetings.

Merlin Mann in a video talked about how his buddy used limited tokens at his company to ensure meeting-junkies didn’t have a free run.

Watch this fantastiic TEDtalk by the Jason Fried. The actions starts at 8:44 mins into the video.

And you as the customer are paying for this in the cost of the product. I bet (since software’s marginal cost of production is close to zero) companies like Microsoft pay a really heavy price for meetings. As pass it on.

And most are just to discuss the Mad Angle of the Chips.


PS: at the end of the end the ‘air kiss’ between the boss and Arab tells me the agency think a gay arab is funny. I have rarely seen an ad end on such a unfunny wtf note.







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