Pavlov’s dog was conditioned to salivate at the sound of a bell.
It is not natural for dogs to associate sound of a bell with food.
But it can be CONDITIONED to do so.
Similarly, its not natural for humans to make PPTs when confronted with an interesting problem to solve.
But it seems so many of us are conditioned to.
PPT is a tool of communication. It is a prop, an aid in communicating what needs to be communicated.
But so often, people begin to make PPTs even before thinking of what needs to be communicated.
Like Novembers with no shave, there should be Decembers with no PPTs. Perhaps, that might help wean people away from the instinct of ‘making slides’ and mistaking that for work.
There’s another variety of Pavlovian conditioning at play in offices.
Silos are natural. they help contain complexity. They help create organic structures with hierarchy. But they also create walls of suppositions.
No one articulates these suppositions. the invisible rules of behaviors in teams/ departments etc. But only by understanding them can one truly integrate. Often when HR seeks ‘years of relevant experience’, it is these uncoded behaviours that they are seeking.
Codes of boundaries – Creative agencies are zany. Media agencies need to prepare 100 slide ppts with contentious numbers in them. Digital agency should do ‘memes’…. you know stuff like that.
We mistake the incidentals for the purpose.
Since ‘strategy’ is someone else’s job, it isn’t reflected in any of the others. Since creativity is someone else’s job title, everyone else holds back their own ideas.
So when work happens in silos, the sum is a hippolephantasaur. (hodgepodge of disparate ideas, suppositions)
Everyone must know WHY they are doing what they are doing. and the leadership must ensure this. If it doesn’t happen, you are merely conditioning people to manufacturing pointless PPT slides and populate agenda-less meetings.