Monday, June 8, 2009

Israel High Command tells officers: Lose the PowerPoint presentations

It is interesting that the Israeli High Command is telling its officers to drop the PowerPoint presentations. There cannot be any doubt that many modern ailments and problems are due to a manager culture that finds its expression in superficial PowerPoint presentations, executive summaries and MBA influenced decision making with no real connection to reality.

"The deputy chief of staff, Brig. Gen. Erez Weiner, wrote a damning indictment of such presentations in last month's issue of the IDF journal Maarachot.

PowerPoint presentations, he wrote, represent "a strong point that has turned into a weak point. The Americans have concluded that using them makes discussions shallower and compromises analysis. The IDF remains addicted to this tool, and is paying for it dearly."

He added that "for many years the use of presentations in the civilian world has expanded, and even more so in the military. It is virtually impossible to have a discussion or lecture in a military forum in which the presentation is not used.

"I believe the use of presentations has made the level of discussion, and the depth of study, more superficial."
(Haaretz 7.6.2009

Is it possible that a deeper study might lead the Israeli High Command, the political and economic leaderships to realize that there are logical, essential and unavoidable limits to the use of force and brutality? That this adventurous policy creates more dangers than it prevents?

Just the same, it is not clear why Weiner claims that all the USAnians "have concluded that using them [PowerPoint presentations] makes discussions shallower and compromises analysis." Certainly there is critique of this tool in the US, but still it is very common and popular. E.g. Obama's Cairo speech might be considered as a verbal PowerPoint presentation. Repeating like a mantra the call for the so called "Two State Solution" for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict does not seem to be very realistic, just like crying "oh my god" during sex cannot be considered to be a prayer.

Brig. Gen. Erez Weiner's critical assessment and recommendations follow Henry Mintzberg, a professor of management at McGill University, who says that Business Schools with their MBA programs are responsible for the present financial crisis. According to Mintzberg it is time to scrap the MBA as training programme for future leaders as these schools are too detached from real-world issues.

This reminds me of a Swiss emeritus professor of medicine who who used to say that medical studies give for over 90% of the answers provided by medical studies are to questions that nobody asked"

Shraga Elam


(Edited by George Malant)

No comments:

Post a Comment