While waiting for the weather to come on the local news program I was watching this morning, I noticed a Google commercial which a group of people was concluding an online video meeting via Google+ that apparently was so productive that there were no followup items at all.
Needless to say, I became immediately jealous since I have never in my career been in a meeting that adjourned with such finality. I also immediately began to shake my head because the one ingredient necessary to achieve the outcome depicted was not addressed at all: namely, the ability of that group to properly plan and execute.
The ad, of course, clearly is meant to suggest that the service’s “hangout” capability is the reason the group portrayed was able to achieve such super-efficiency. But no tool can actually deliver the results the ad celebrates – only people can do that, and they can only do that by realizing that (as I have become semi-infamous for saying) the planning IS the work.
I’m actually getting to be something of a fan of Google+, which makes the kind of video communication and collaboration depicted in the commercial remarkably easy to do. But it still is just a tool, and I was moderately bothered by the omission of the single biggest ingredient necessary to move work forward: the actual performance of actual tasks.
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