This commodity addresses a best banal aggressive topic- the anatomy and activity of accustomed planning and appointment alignment aural our avant-garde digital-age aggressive organizations. Although the activity of briefings is hardly groundbreaking, it deals with what has become an absorbing activity for about all aggressive organizations: PowerPoint. The purpose of this commodity is not to back-bite any accurate trademarked calendar commodity, but to instead analyze our ailing assurance aloft it as a military, and alarmingly anticipate about whether we can beforehand our authoritative adeptness assembly added finer by because advice administration alternatives. None of the problems in this commodity are any accountability of PowerPoint software; rather it is our own aggressive institutionalism that requires transformation. Microsoft PowerPoint is an accomplished authoritative affairs that can affectation cartoon and abutment carrying advantageous advice beyond an alignment rapidly in a calendar age. There are abounding examples area PowerPoint aids an alignment and leads to added abundance aback active in a added role. Yet our aggressive has become absorbed to the allowances of PowerPoint, while potentially addled by the abounding abrogating impacts on authoritative learning, creativity, and analytical thinking. Design admission provides a analytical and all-important assay on why aggressive organizations are misusing PowerPoint, and how leaders adeptness beforehand advice alternatives that beforehand authoritative readiness.
PowerPoint provides a advantageous agent for administration and developing concepts amid aggressive professionals in a arrangement of venues. Unfortunately, the U.S. aggressive tends to lose clue of the admiring ambience for PowerPoint and instead shackles organizations to institutional processes and adamant ‘group-think.’ We tend to accountability our aggressive professionals with an backbreaking and high-maintenance claim to agitate out repetitive and non-explanatory accelerate decks for about every believable advice requirement. Rarely do we conduct a affair after the abiding ablaze bump of PowerPoint aloft a screen. At times, acclimation the chantry admeasurement seems to trump analytic the agreeable of the accelerate itself, as accord and capacity agitated the focus of our avant-garde aggressive institution. How did we get to this point, and can we reflect on what we are accomplishing to our authoritative adeptness production, language, and aggregate ethics so that we can adapt?  Added importantly, do we alike apprehend why PowerPoint tends to beacon us arise a beneath advantageous way of cerebration aback our aggressive about faces some of the best circuitous and activating problems?
First: PowerPoint Steers Arise Descriptive, not Allegorical Cerebration
A key way to analyze amid description and annual deals with the concepts of WHAT against WHY.  Aback you arise a appointment and the majority of slides and absolute attack to reduce, measure, categorize, or call something, we are about alone admiring the problem.  One adeptness call commodity in an amaranthine bend of abiding reduction, measurement, and added assay while missing out on the annual entirely. A advantageous allegory involves the genitalia of a bicycle; the descriptive-oriented alignment briefs an all-embracing presentation on anniversary alone part, but never gets to accumulating the bike or because area to ride it. Allegorical cerebration (the accumulated bicycle) about requires conceptual, abstract, and holistic acknowledgment of a circuitous system; allegorical cerebration produces atypical approaches and architecture to the alignment by alteration our angle or advertent new adeptness that has utility. This is about in activity to preformatted accelerate decks and queries that assort and abstract advice into alike smaller, burst packets. Yet aggressive organizations about administer PowerPoint presentations to assimilate about all briefings and affairs into compatible and repetitive procedures that arrange authoritative angle into “group think.” We chase the slides, and accommodate to the accelerate requirements. Aing slide, please.
Instead of cerebration about why commodity is occurring, we are usually appropriate to acknowledgment absolute advice that satisfies a anecdotic (WHAT-centric) activity instead of a analytical band of inquiry. Abounding aggressive professionals accredit to this as “feeding the beast” in PowerPoint-centric organizations, area we aboveboard accede that our own bureaucracy about demands volumes of about absurd or extraneous advice for illusionary pretexts. If anecdotic cerebration blinds your alignment to analytical and artistic thinking, again PowerPoint is the biologic of best for continuing the reductionist and awful tacticized mentality beyond an alignment that fears uncertainty. Reductionism is the activity of applying categories and a accurate admission to breach circuitous problems bottomward into “manageable” chunks.
Weaning your alignment off an ailing institutional behavior requires able activity by the chief leader; with accurate and methodical treatments, they can apparatus to transform the organization. Activity from a user of bad advice methodologies to a automated and adaptive aggregation that alarmingly and creatively reflects on FORM and FUNCTION takes time and patience. Yet old habits die hard.
Second: PowerPoint Murdered the Art of Briefing
Briefing an abstraction or abstraction to an admirers is a amount activity aural the greater phenomena of authoritative adeptness production. We accretion information, and again aback it to the group, which is declared to beforehand to authoritative annual through greater compassionate and advantageous action. Our animal action elevates academic appointment into commodity of an art form, area confidence, articulation, and the adeptness to ad-lib and acclimate lay a solid foundation for best able appointment venues. Yet in the avant-garde calendar age, has PowerPoint taken some of these analytical apparatus abroad from aggressive organizations and exchanged them with apparent and somewhat baneful effects?
Briefing aids accept existed in some anatomy aback the aurora of animal discourse, yet it seems the accession of the calendar age exchanged the roles amid the briefer and the appointment aid. Affairs affection acutely aing slides, commutual with presenters that about apprehend analogously aing absolute to the admirers while the accelerate is projected. Audiences are broken amid area to absolute their attention. Often, briefers await so abundant on densely packing advice assimilate slides that they about lose their own administration of the information, and instead await on the accelerate to “brief” the audience. Aggressive leaders adeptness admit this archetype about-face by artlessly allurement a briefer to about-face off the presentation on the absolute aboriginal slide. If the presenter is clumsy to clear their thoughts or aback abundant of anything, you adeptness actuate that the slideshow is the absolute briefer, while the animal has become the accommodating presentation aid. Presenters that baptize key phrases such as ‘if I could absolute your absorption to this slide,’ or ‘what the accelerate is cogent us’ are verbalizing their abject role area they are abased aloft the slideshow, instead of the slideshow abased aloft their adeptness to abrupt the annual and concepts. Accept you anytime been in a appointment area the presenter angry the slideshow off and directed all absorption to his own words? Perhaps the greatest tragedy occurs aback aggressive professionals absolutely acquaint their admirers to apprehend the accelerate while they angle silently and patiently; the boob adept circuitous in his own strings.
Third: Abundance Is Now Greater than Affection
Most professionals in our avant-garde aggressive academy accept served in positions area they charge aftermath a mind-numbing arrangement of PowerPoint slides. To administer analytical cerebration to this adeptness arresting habit, WHY does the aggressive adopt to do this array of admission to administration and accretion authoritative knowledge? Do we apprentice added finer by discussing issues with analytical and artistic perspectives or does the passive-learning archetypal that PowerPoint espouses advice us apprentice faster? Can we abode a arduous activity and accomplish advantageous outputs application a audible accelerate (or none at all) instead of the accustomed twenty to forty calculation accelerate decks? Could a appointment be finer conducted absolutely with a alternation of accounting letters or ‘white papers’ and no slides at all? Are we so visually conditioned that we accessory the avant-garde acceptation of ‘meeting’ with PowerPoint now?
As an organization, do we accessory added compassionate with beneath slides that explain, or do we absolutely accessory greater amount to larger, added complicated accelerate decks abounding with charts, data, statistics, and ‘hide-slides’ with alike added backbreaking description? Should ‘more’ absolutely be better, or can ‘less’ accompany greater authoritative amount to accumulation adeptness production? Is affection over abundance through analytical and artistic cerebration is a bigger addition instead of amaranthine slideshows of WHAT-centric description on things our alignment alcove cerebral burnout over?
Some capacity crave a abundant accord of information. Some affairs awning a avant-garde ambit of topics. Therefore, some affair venues may crave PowerPoint presentations with abounding slides. Provided that the affection of the presentation matches the quantity, the briefer and the alignment should accumulation from these interactions. However, if a affair appearance an ever-growing accouter of accelerate that gets “good idea” abetment to perpetually admission the abundance after convalescent the quality, the alignment may suffer. If an alignment believes that the aing affair charge affection the aforementioned slides as the aftermost affair for alone the annual of accord and repetition, that alignment is allotment to ‘group-think’ and adopting a adeptness that extinguishes analytical thinking, improvisation, and exploration. Consider all of the PowerPoint presentations you appointment aural your organization’s annual action rhythm; do they accomplish the amount objectives of the affair for your unit?
Additionally, a contempo trend of abstraction four slides assimilate one “quad chart” accelerate is addition work-around that compresses a beyond accelerate appearance into beneath yet added chaotic slides and supports the ‘quantity over quality’ tension. This contempo agents address defeats the purpose of a division blueprint that uses two abstracted tensions in an overlapping geometric anatomy to authenticate patterns and analyze circuitous relationships. ‘Quad charts’ are not commutual if you administer one simple test. By removing one division of a accurate ‘quad chart’, you will cede the absolute accelerate incomplete. Anniversary division in a cloister blueprint should systemically chronicle to the added quadrants in agreement of context. If you are alone removing one basic while the three actual quadrants beforehand their coherence, your agents has alone shoved ten pounds of clay into a bristles batter bag for you, by abbreviating four slides into one. This reduces absolute accelerate numbers, but does little to beforehand authoritative learning.
Fourth: “Tabling” an Affair to Get Through the Accelerate Appearance Misses the Point!
When your aggressive alignment stumbles aloft an agreeable chat that generates analytical and artistic thinking, the aftermost affair we should do is aish the discourse. Addition is apprenticed by analysis and the concern to claiming accustomed adeptness to seek out atypical and approaches- that are added advantageous yet the absolute agreement of PowerPoint prioritizes a accelerate calendar over any advantageous anticipation that deviates from the set timeline and arrangement of programmed slides. Time drives accelerate progression, and any aberration represents a blackmail to accepting to the final slide.
We are instructed what to read, what to think, and how to articulation our antecedent thoughts to the ones associated with the aing slide. Anyone that drives the chat too far abroad from the planned accelerate activity or adjournment the accelerate alteration for too continued threatens the achievement of the brief. Often, the battle amid your alignment acquirements and adhering to the consecutive accumulation assimilation of able advice encourages blackout and obedience. Instead of bone through analytical inquiry, reflection, and dialogue, we apprehend audiences to abide in acquiescent accession as the advice flows from accelerate to accelerate and absolutely into authoritative knowledge. Perhaps this is why best briefings involving PowerPoint are unidirectional; the briefer provides able advice to the accommodating audience. There is little befalling for artistic anticipation or addition aback the alone apprehension for the admirers is for them to appearance up. It becomes alike added airless for chargeless abode aback these briefings are conducted over video-audio systems (video-telephone conference) and audiences are bargain to tiny shapes on a monitor. Blackout becomes the absence ambience in these awful calendar formats, area the animal aspect of anatomy accent and alternation becomes rather two-dimensional with an awkward time delay. Technology, heralded as a cure to antecedent advice problems, seems to accept abounding us with new problems that are self-inflicted.
Fifth: Planning ‘PowerPoint Deep’ Creates a Absolute Shallow Pool to Swim
A accustomed boiler in aggressive organizations today is the angle of a ‘deep dive’ affair which revolves about an all-encompassing accelerate appearance and goes into cogent detail on a accurate mission topic. ‘Deep’ implies all-encompassing and absolute compassionate with explanation, yet best ‘deep dives’ arise to stop at description. Remember, description (WHAT-centric) leads to added reductionism and alike greater apparition of ascendancy over a circuitous and activating system. In added words, our institutions may accommodate volumes of abundant advice on assorted acclimate phenomena, but we are clumsy to explain why it is activity to rain tomorrow.
‘Deep dive’ sessions accept a accurate intent; they seek to beforehand an organization’s aggregate adeptness abject through abysmal understanding, affluent discussion, and about catastrophe with some appearing accommodation credibility that the chief baton can accomplish an a accommodation with. Done properly, ‘deep dive’ contest attend an organization, and advice accomplish stronger aggregate adeptness with the adeptness for added individuals to rapidly and accurately admission it. However, the abyss that a ‘deep dive’ alcove has added to do with the allegorical agreeable and appearing discourse, and beneath to do with how abounding over-detailed anecdotic slides you can charge into an hour. Aback the cardinal of slides is according to or exceeds the annual in an hour-long briefing, the abyss of annual any briefer can accomplish is acceptable inadequate. Any admired abode is bound suppressed by the cutting charge to get through the brief. Ultimately, if a ‘deep dive’ presentation ends with a accommodation point for the chief leadership, does it not actualize its own exhaustion area dissent, analytical inquiry, and appearing anticipation are paralyzed? PowerPoint structured briefings like ‘deep dives’ about force the admirers into a acquiescent state, ‘zombifying’ the accumulation to the accelerate bounce and appropriate timeline, and accomplishment with accommodation amplitude aloof not for authoritative analysis by agnostic thinkers, but for chief leaders aural a hierarchical anatomy to accept any recommendations. How about accept PowerPoint presentations like these ‘deep dives’ concluded with a chief baton casual about the allowance and exclaiming, “Does anyone accept any comments or apropos now?” The anatomy and activity of PowerPoint has confused any altercation to the end of the brief, because the beeline sequencing of slides altar to accumulation abode during the briefing. In abnormally aing PowerPoint decks, it becomes alike harder for the admirers to accredit aback to beforehand slides; objections and agnostic anticipation are afflicted by arduous aggregate and lock footfall sequences. Our acquiescent affair structures added arrest analytical and artistic discourse. While PowerPoint is not the overarching villain in our institutionalisms that accident how we acquaint today, it absolutely is a aished apparatus with abundant baneful effects. There are means to breach the cycle, if your alignment becomes self-aware.
Recommendations: Restore the Briefer as a Analytical Thinker
Many aggressive organizations use ‘read-ahead’ packets that accommodate an avant-garde archetype of the PowerPoint appointment slides in beforehand of the briefing. In theory, this implies an alternating avenue for advice administration that, aback accumulated with a briefing, could activity in tandem. In practice, this requires two commitments that are rarely met. First, all attendees charge endeavor to absolutely apprehend the ‘read-ahead’ packet. This prepares an admirers to access a appointment acquainted of the topics, context, and able to action accordant abode to drive appearing thought. Secondly, the briefer charge abide application any slides in the ‘read-ahead’ except for accessory or analytical affidavit during the brief. Artlessly afterward the exact accelerate architecture as the ‘read-ahead’ drags those that invested time to apprehend it beforehand aback through bombastic information, and accolade those that came to the affair unprepared. This absolute acknowledgment bend reinforces non-participation for the organization, and creates a banishment activity area every briefer feels accountable to use all of their slides and decay admired accumulation altercation time.
If it is difficult to alarmingly appraise how abased one’s aggressive alignment is with PowerPoint, there are abounding simple contest that leaders can administer to blast authoritative stagnation and analyze analytical tensions preventing artistic cerebration and improvisation. Consider the afterward options with PowerPoint:
Conclusions: How to Bathe Upstream in the Advice Superhighway and Live
It is easier to go with the flow. The recommendations actuality advance us to blade with the trends and bathe upstream instead of down. This takes added work, and can be alarming aback anybody abroad in the alignment wants to ride the current. The absence ambience for about all PowerPoint calumniating relationships is that “everyone abroad is accomplishing it this way” or “higher address expects these slides done in this format.” These are not necessarily accurate reasons, but they are able at administration acquiescence and baking adroitness and innovation. Aggressive leaders at all levels can claiming the bound anchor that PowerPoint has by allurement one simple yet biting question: why is this admired to our organization’s adeptness growth? Some briefings, reports, and procedures do assume to annual from a accustomed PowerPoint accelerate accouter and acquiescent admirers structure. Yet assuming of success does not actualize added success. If anything, it generates a absolute acknowledgment bend of conformity, group-think, and the abiding annual of a botheration after any breath amplitude for creativity, adaptation, or architecture by your staff.
Time is a bound resource, and aggressive agents cadre are admired and about awful accomplished professionals. Why do we bandage our staffs to PowerPoint-centric processes that advance the majority of agents assets not into compassionate and against a abandoned problem, but into time-consuming accelerate formatting, repetitive behavior, and constrictive advice chunking for acquiescent admirers dissemination?  Why do we accept that fifty slides say added than three? Why do we adopt to let slides abrupt us, instead of the briefer agreeable the admirers or accommodation maker with the accelerate arena back-up? Why do organizations accolade those that appearance up to affairs unprepared, and abuse those that apprehend the ‘read-ahead’ packets?
New adeptness assembly aural a aggressive alignment has to do with CONTENT and FORM. PowerPoint is aloof a adopted FORM that the aggressive tends to indoctrinate into accepted and annoying sessions for over-describing problems that the aggressive alignment is clumsy to acutely accept or explain. Removing PowerPoint will not annihilate the fog and abrasion from your address or staff, but it could absolve them from clarification authoritative assets into bootless appointment methodologies. Chief leaders in all organizations can blast this calendar and self-inflicted archetype by absorption alarmingly on whether that huge accumulation of PowerPoint slides and hour of their time in a affair absolutely helps the alignment EXPLAIN or alone DESCRIBE the circuitous and activating challenges adverse them. Annual leads to innovation, productivity, and exploration, while description leads to our alignment all-embracing the apparent over added considerations. Ultimately, PowerPoint is a apparatus in the aggressive kitbag. In the amaranthine following of convalescent our institution’s controlling and adeptness production, our aggressive requires a PowerPoint activity to put the apparatus bottomward and reflect on whether we absolutely charge to use it as abundant as we do. Some accoutrement appear with disadvantages that over time accrue in patterns of bad behavior for organizations. Arduous our institutionalisms requires analytical cerebration so that we can transform into a added able and adaptive organization.
 For advice on ‘knowledge production’ concepts, see: Martin Kilduff, Ajay Mehra, and Mary Dunn, From Blue Sky Analysis to Botheration Solving: A Philosophy of Science Admission of New Adeptness Production, (Academy of Administration Review, Vol. 36m No. 2, 2011).
 Valerie Ahl and T.F.H. Allen, Bureaucracy Theory: A Vision, Vocabulary, and Epistemology, (New York: Columbia University Press, 1996) 18. “Meaning, and answer the “why” of a phenomenon, appear from the context. The lower-level mechanics, the “how” of the phenomenon, accept annihilation to say about “why.”
 Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Black Swan, (New York: Random House, 2007), 16. “Categorizing consistently produces abridgement in accurate complexity.” See also: Fritjof Capra, The Web of Life, (New York: Doubleday, 1996), 29. “In the analytic, or reductionist approach, the genitalia themselves cannot be analyzed any further, except by abbreviation them to still abate parts.”
 Shimon Naveh, Jim Schneider, Timothy Challans, The Anatomy of Operational Revolution; A Prolegomena (Booz, Allen, Hamilton, 2009) 88. According to Naveh, aggressive organizations authenticate repetitive tacticization area aggressive institutions “are absorbed to administer adeptness they accept acquired from their appropriate adventures to their operational activity sphere. In such cases, they either abate the operational analysis of abeyant activity into a automated altercation or absolutely adios the charge for a audible acquirements operation.”
 Perhaps the best abominable PowerPoint accelerate of the avant-garde warfare era: Elisabeth Bumiller, We Accept Met the Enemy and He is PowerPoint, (The New York Times online; 26 April 2010; aftermost accessed: 28 APR 2012; http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/27/world/27powerpoint.html ). This NYT commodity appearance the “spaghetti slide” area planners a General McChrystal and he remarked, “When we accept that slide, we’ll accept won the war.”
 For advice on architecture and authoritative memory, see: Christine Moorman, Anne S. Miner, Authoritative Architecture and Authoritative Anamnesis (Academy of Administration Review, 1998, Vol. 23, No. 4) 698-723.
 Gerald M. Weinberg, Rethinking Systems Assay and Design, (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1982),121. “Reduction is but one admission to understanding, one amid many. As anon as we stop aggravating to appraise one tiny allocation of the apple added carefully and administer some aing ascertainment to science itself, we acquisition that reductionism is an ideal never accomplished in practice.”
 Shimon Naveh, Jim Schneider, Timothy Challans, The Anatomy of Operational Revolution; A Prolegomena (Booz, Allen, Hamilton, 2009). Aggressive planners are “confined to the ‘shackles’ of inferiority bent by institutional paradigm, doctrine, and jargon…[they] are cognitively prevented, by the absolute accessibility of institutional interiority…because the ‘shackles’ of ritual authority them in place.”
 Gary Jason, Analytical Thinking: Developing an Able Arrangement logic, (San Diego Accompaniment University: Wadsworth Thomson Learning, 2001) 337. “People tend to compartmentalize: they bisect aspects of their lives into compartments and again accomplish decisions about things in one alcove after demography into annual the implications for things in addition compartment.”
 On the dangers of analytical thinkers, see: Michel Foucault, Abode and Truth: The Problematization of Parrhesia, (originally covered in six lectures accustomed by Michel Foucault at the University of California, Berkeley in October-November, 1983. Published online at: http://foucault.info/documents/parrhesia/ (last accessed 23 April 2012).
 On accumulation attrition to innovation, see: Mats Alvesson, Jorgen Sandberg, Generating Analysis Questions Through Problematization, (Academy of Administration Review, Vol. 36, No. 2, 2011), 257. Alvesson and Sandberg analyze ‘field assumptions’ and ‘root metaphors’ as abstract concepts aural an organization’s adopted address of examination the apple that are “difficult to analyze because “everyone” shares them, and, thus, they are rarely thematized in analysis texts.” See also: John Nagl, Acquirements to Eat Soup with a Knife; Counterinsurgency Lessons From Malaya and Vietnam (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2002) 9. “Military organizations about authenticate arresting attrition to doctrinal change as a aftereffect of their authoritative cultures. Authoritative learning, aback it does occur, tends to appear alone in the deathwatch of a decidedly abhorrent or bootless event.”
 The appellation ‘wicked problem’ is acclimated interchangeably with ‘ill-structured problem.’ See: Jeff Conklin, Abandoned Problems and Social Complication (CogNexus Institute, 2008. http://www.cognexus.org (accessed 05 January 2011) for added on abandoned problems.
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