This book is written for and about
an emerging and increasingly more powerful group of people who
are virtually taking over the leadership of the business community
- connected executives.
Connected executives are executives
who are as computer literate as they are socially literate.
They use every communication or information technology they
can find to become more informed and to communicate more productively.
They use phone and fax, e-mail and electronic bulletin boards,
whatever they have available to increase the speed and efficiency
of communication. "Connecting" their offices, they
redefine the very concept of "executive office." Connecting
their personal workstation to their network computer, to their
home computer, to their personal laptops, they control a personal
workspace that has no physical boundaries.
Connected Executives is a step-by-step
plan to help connected executives do for meeting rooms what
they have learned to do for their offices - to redefine the
very nature of the workspace (the meeting room) and the work
(the meeting itself).
Knowing that it is not the technologies
alone, but rather the use of those technologies that
truly makes communication productive, this book is a strategic
plan for introducing and inventing communication strategies
- technically-based methods for increasing the interface between
Since most executives spend up
to 85% of their workweeks in meetings, it is inevitable that
the such an effort be made to make meetings more productive.
To do so, connected executives only need learn to use whatever
combination of technologies that are already available to them.
Most of what they need is already there for them: computer projectors,
fast printers and copiers, software, multimedia, even speaker
The central strategy for connecting
the meeting room is the creation of a new role (or the redefinition
of an old role) that is generally ascribed to the person who
takes notes or writes on a flip chart.
By giving that same role to people
who are also both computer literate and socially literate, the
connection becomes instant and complete.
With the right selection of software,
a big enough screen, a good enough modem, and fast enough printer,
groups can use the computer to do the same things the connected
executive does in the connected office: plan, draw conclusions,
pipe dream, "what-if," create and distribute reports,
communicate and coordinate with people in other offices or parts
of the world.
All that is needed in addition
to the technology are the people who know how to make it work
in the meeting room. These people I call technographers:
the executives, consultants, instructors, and secretaries who
use computers to help other people communicate more effectively.
With technographers in place, executives
can spend their meeting room time more productively, so much
more productively that they begin to challenge the conceptions
of what a meeting has to be, or how it has to be conducted,
or where and when it has to take place. The face-to-face meeting
in the boardroom becomes one in a continuum of communication
events between connected executives, on-line and off-line, before
the meeting, and after the meeting.
In making the connection between
meeting room and communication technologies, a connection can
be made between head and heart of the organization. As the connection
becomes stronger and more efficient, so does the organization.
My purpose in writing this book,
this "strategic communications plan," is to help you
create whole corporations and entire networks of clients and
services that communicate more clearly, effectively, and responsively.
My plan is not designed to be achieved
instantly, but rather to be begun, immediately. As this book
is being published capabilities are evolving that are continually
enhancing the possibilities for connectedness. And, at the same
time, as we wait for these capabilities to emerge and become
recognized, we must also recognize that we already have every
thing we need. All the technology is already in place. All we
really need to become more profoundly connected is the agreement
This book shows you how to bring
a dramatic increase in personal and group productivity to your
work. It presents a sequence of seven steps for combining computing
with communications technologies to make communication more
productive, successful, efficient, and fun.
As a business leader, two of your
most mind- and time-consuming activities center around:
1) clarifying and communicating
2) inspiring commitment.
Your success depends entirely on
the amount and complexity of information you can successfully
gather, organize, integrate, and communicate in a world where
markets, and missions and jobs are continually being redefined.
You can't take more time, because there is none to spare.
But, by enhancing the "connections" between information
and communications technologies, your work can be made vastly
The chapters of the book are each
devoted to one in the sequence of seven steps. Following these
steps, using only readily available technologies, you will increase
the effectiveness of your work and of the people with whom your
work is shared.
Steps to Connectedness