Wednesday, October 06, 2010

End of Powerpoints?

Do you hate Powerpoints?

One of the CIOs whom I had worked with, doesn't like Powerpoints. He just doesn't believe in Powerpoint based presentations. Neither he uses one when he makes a Townhall meeting.

Am aware of many such people who just dont like canned thinking. Those people are typically spontenous, experimental, shape the goal as they go, discover new opportunities as they explore new avenues. Of couse, this approach could be extremely uncomfortable to top-down/plan-oriented thinkers. But, We are not going to discuss the pros and cons of people in this camp or the other.

Instead, this post will focus on - Are there any real good alternatives to Powerpoints?

When the whole world, especially IT, gives very little room for top-down planning/strategy/enterprise architecture, Powerpoints don't make any sense. Because thoughts and deliberations don't shape actions. Actions-first approach takes the lead here. Those Actions eventually shape the thoughts and evolves the destiny.

If not powerpoints, what other media could be used to communicate issues/options/solutions?

And the alternative is - Games!

Yes, Serious Games.

IBM has announced Serious Games to promote its Smarter Planet Theme. The Game helps the City planners to understand and solve some of the complex issues like water/energy management. While gaming, the participants will also have the opportunity to identify suitable technologies that can be leveraged to solve those issues. [Of course, in this case, IBM products] IBM believes its a unique way to solve complicated problems. And Here people learn by "doing" it not by passive listening to canned presentations. And that's the difference! Simulations and Participation would stimulate the thought process of participants and help them to learn quicker.
There are tons of possibilities during the simulation such as introducing real-world constraints, multi-dimensional decision making, gaming rules and goal setting.

And it looks like most of the other companies such as Cisco, Google, Microsoft and GE are also experimenting with Serious Games.

And here is an analyst who is imagining Gaming could be used in Enterprise IT in the context of Business Intelligence and Collaboration.

I wouldn't be surprised if future management consultants package their reports in Games rather than Powerpoints.

Are we ready yet?. May not be. But I believe the time is arriving soon, since Generation Y is joining the workforce.

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