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Continued: Executive forum: Beware of too much communication

  • Article by: FRED ZIMMERMAN
  • Last update: December 22, 2013 - 12:47 PM

Emptiness — or lack of clearly defined purpose.

Ego — people who want to sound intelligent in large groups.

Detachment — people afraid to take action but who want to be working on a problem.

Perhaps the late Harvard professor John Kenneth Galbraith best captured the frailty of organizational communications: “Meetings are indispensable when you don’t want to do anything.”

For me, however, the major goal is to systematically accomplish work between meetings. Otherwise there is nothing to talk about.

Fred Zimmerman is professor emeritus of engineering and management at the University of St. Thomas. He spent many years in industry before entering academia and has served on the boards of directors of several corporations. His e-mail is zimco@visi.com.

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