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From "Topless Meetings" at Web Business 2.0 - http://www.webbusiness20.de/2008/06/09/topless-meetings/ 362 words
Seit einiger Zeit kursiert eine neue Idee durch amerikanische Chefetagen und Companys: Arbeitsbesprechungen, Teamsitzungen und Präsentationen seien ab jetzt nur noch in Form von “topless Meetings” erlaubt. Irritiert wird sich so mancher und mehr noch so manche fragen, ob dies im Zuge einer überraschenden Libertinage der amerikanischen Gesellschaft etwa bedeute, man konferiere ab jetzt nur noch oben ohne?…

Dieser Gedanke kann im Wissen um die Prüderie der amerikanischen Gesellschaft gleich wieder verworfen werden. Nein, nicht ohne Oberhemd, sondern ohne ‚Lap-Top’ sollen Meetings zukünftig abgehalten werden. Denn diese und artverwandte Gadgets wie iPhone, Sidekick und Blackberry verderben die ohnehin nicht sonderlich gute Kommunikationskultur, die gemeinhin in Sitzungen dieser Art herrscht. Da werden während der Besprechung eifrig E-Mails gecheckt, wird gechattet, gesimst, gegamed und geblogt. Die Augen auf dem Monitor und auch die Gedanken ganz bestimmt nicht dort, wo sie eigentlich sein sollten – nämlich im Meeting. Daher denkt man in so manchem, vor allem online-nahen Unternehmen daran, Mitarbeitern in Meetings den Gebrauch drahtloser Informationstechnologien gänzlich zu untersagen.

Mit dieser Maßnahme hoffen die Fürstreiter des Topless-Konzepts nicht allein, den Symptomen von geteilter Aufmerksamkeit, mangelnder Konzentration und dadurch bedingter sinkender Produktivität von Meetings erfolgreich entgegenzuwirken. Auch der soziale Faktor, der durch den Einzug der mobilen Online-Services merklich gelitten hat, hofft man durch die verordnete Abstinenz zu stärken. Schließlich handelt es sich auch um eine Frage mangelnder Wertschätzung, wenn einer sich vorbereitet und zu anderen spricht, während die nach Kinoprogramm und den neuesten Börsenkursen googlen.

So in etwa lautet der Tenor einer Diskussion, die im letzten Jahr vor allem durch einen Blogbeitrag mit dem vielsagenden Titel „My personal war against Crackberry“ angestoßen wurde. Der Autor Todd Wilkens, Chef einer Design-Agentur in San Francisco, ist der Ansicht, dass eine effektive Arbeitssitzung kaum noch möglich sei, wenn die Teilnehmenden eben nur teilweise präsent seien. „Unvollständige Aufmerksamkeit führt zu unvollständigen Resultaten“, meint Wilkens und fasst die Inhalte der Topless-Philosophie sogar in einem kleinen Meeting-Knigge zusammen. Regel zwei: Einer muss sich im Namen der Produktivitätssteigerung unbeliebt machen und den anderen ihre mobilen Spielzeuge aus den Rippen ziehen. Aber auch wenn sie zunächst meckern - insgeheim sind die Online-Junkies dankbar dafür, ein paar Stunden von ihrer Sucht befreit worden zu werden.

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Entry #1 - Points: 63 - WINNER!
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For some time now, a new concept has been making the rounds of American executive offices and companies, according to which briefings, team meetings and presentations must now be held “topless”. This – for American society – uncharacteristically liberal-sounding move is causing consternation among their countrymen (and even more so among their countrywomen), who are left wondering whether they are now required to cast aside their clothing in order to convene.

Our knowledge of the prudishness of American society, however, allows us to dismiss this notion out of hand. Future meetings are to be held not topless, but LAPtopless. Portable computers and similar devices, such as iPhones, Sidekicks and BlackBerrys, are proving detrimental to a conference culture already conspicuously inconducive to communication. Meeting “participants” stateside are assiduously checking their emails, chatting, texting, gaming and blogging. Their eyes are glued to their screens and their minds are almost entirely absent. It has, therefore, occurred to certain companies – particularly those in online-related industries – to forbid their employees from availing themselves of wireless information technology entirely during meetings.

In taking this step, the advocates of the topless concept aim to do more than merely alleviate the symptoms of divided attention and lack of concentration and the resulting decrease in meeting productivity. Instead, they are also hoping that this enforced abstinence will prove a shot in the arm to the flagging social aspect of such gatherings, which has suffered considerably since the advent of mobile online services. This issue is ultimately one of respect: after all, when someone has put time and effort into preparing and giving a presentation, googling movie theatre schedules or the latest market rates is basic bad manners.

This is the rough gist of a discussion that has been taking place over the past year, sparked largely by a blog entry tellingly entitled “My personal war against Crackberry”. Todd Wilkens, its author and head of a San Francisco design agency, is of the opinion that effective employee interaction is almost impossible if the participants are only partially present. “Partial attention leads to partial results”, opines Wilkens, who has gone so far as to encapsulate his topless philosophy in a little meeting etiquette manual. Rule Number Two: someone has to be the bad guy, confiscating his or her co-workers’ mobile companions in the pursuit of productivity. Despite initially bemoaning their loss of their toys, however, online addicts are often secretly thankful to be relieved of their obsession for a few hours.
Mary Worby
Mary Worby
United Kingdom
Congratulations, Hilary, well done!



Entry #2 - Points: 49
David Stephenson
David Stephenson
United States
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For a while now, a new idea has been circulating through executive suites and companies in the United States: From now on, all business meetings, team conferences, and presentations should go "topless." Some people—women especially—might be confounded by this concept, wondering if this really means, in a surprising libertine turn by American society, that all meetings will now be held with nothing on "up top."

Given the prudish nature of American society, that notion can be dismissed out of hand. No, it's not about shedding your shirt or blouse; it's about holding meetings without laptops. Because those gadgets and others like them—such as iPhones, Sidekicks, and BlackBerries—pollute the overall communication culture in sessions of that sort, which is not that great to begin with. Checking e-mail, chatting, simming, gaming, blogging – all of this is frenetically taking place during meetings. With your eyes on the screen, your mind certainly is not where it ought to be: namely, in the meeting. This is why many companies, especially those that are strongly Net-oriented, are thinking about subjecting their employees to a complete ban on the use of wireless information technology during meetings.

With this step, advocates of the topless concept hope to successfully counter the problems of divided attention, poor concentration, and the resulting lower productivity at meetings. But they also hope that forced abstinence will strengthen the social factor, which has suffered noticeably from the advent of mobile on-line services. Ultimately, it shows a lack of respect when someone prepares and delivers a talk while his audience is busy Googling movie show times and stock quotes.

This is the basic gist of a discussion over the past year that was set in motion especially by a blog item with the revealing title "My personal war against Crackberry." Its author Todd Wilkens, the head of a San Francisco design agency, believes that it is next to impossible to have an effective workplace meeting if the attendees are only partly present. "Incomplete attention leads to incomplete results," says Wilkens, who has even summarized the topless philosophy in a short etiquette guide for meetings. Rule number two: Someone, in the interest of boosting productivity, has to play the heavy and tear the mobile toys out of the other people's hands. But even if the on-line junkies grumble at first, deep down they're grateful for being freed of their addiction for a couple of hours.



A new idea has been coursing through American executive floors and companies for some time: from now on, all work, team and presentation meetings are to be “topless.” Many a businessman and even more so, many a businesswoman will pose the question whether topless meetings somehow signal a surprising turn to liberalism in American society ...

Our cognizance of the prudery in American society immediately abolishes such thoughts. No, future meetings will not be held without shirts, but rather "laptopless” instead, because these and any related gadgets such as iPhones, Sidekicks and Blackberries blight the already not particularly good communication culture predominant in meetings of this nature by checking/sending of E-mails, chatting, texting, gaming and blogging. Eyes glued to the monitor and thoughts certainly not where they really ought to be – namely focused on the meeting. A few companies, especially online-related ones, are therefore thinking about fully banning the use of wireless information technology in meetings.

The protagonists of the topless concept hope that this measure will not only successfully counteract the symptoms of divided attention and resulting productivity declines, but also want to use the prescribed abstinence to strengthen the social factor, which has suffered noticeably since the onslaught of mobile services. It is after all also a matter of lacking esteem when someone has prepared themselves and is talking to others whilst they google the cinema guide and the latest stock exchange prices.

In a nutshell, that's the tenor of a discussion which was primarily triggered by a blog contribution with the telling title, "My personal war against Crackberry". Author Todd Wilkens, head of a San Francisco design agency, believes that an effective meeting is hardly possible when the participants are actually only physically present. "Partial attention leads to incomplete results," says Wilkens, who even summarises the contents of the topless philosophy in a short etiquette guide for meetings. Second rule: you simply have to make yourself unpopular in the name of increasing productivity and forcibly relieve the others of their mobile toys. But even if they whinge at first - the online junkies are secretly grateful for being freed of their addiction for a few hours.



Entry #4 - Points: 27
Mary Worby
Mary Worby
United Kingdom
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A new idea has been doing the rounds of the corridors of power in American companies recently: all meetings, team talks and presentations are now to be held as "topless meetings" only. This has caused irritation in some circles, and others are asking whether it is a surprisingly liberal development in American society and they are now expected to conduct meetings semi-naked.

Given how much we know about the prudery of American society, this is one idea we can reject straight away. In the future, meetings are to be held not shirtless, but without laptops. After all, these and other similar gadgets, including iPhones, Sidekicks and Blackberrys, spoil the culture of communication which - although it is not especially good at the best of times - is generally felt to be what these kind of meetings are about. During the meetings, people spend their time checking e-mails, chatting, texting, gaming and blogging. Their eyes are on the screen and their thoughts are certainly not where they are supposed to be, i.e. in the meeting. Which is why some people - especially in high-tech online companies - have come up with the idea of a wholesale ban on staff using any form of wireless information technology during meetings.

Advocates of the idea hope that topless meetings will address the symptoms of divided attention, poor concentration and, as a result, reduced productivity in meetings; it is also hoped that the social factor, which has noticeably suffered since the arrival of mobile online services, will improve as a result of enforced abstinence. After all, it is also a evidence of a real lack of respect if someone has prepared a presentation to give to the others, only to have them googling the latest cinema programmes and stock market prices.

This is the rough gist of a discussion that was triggered last year, primarily by a blog entry whose title, "My personal war against Crackberry", says it all. Author Todd Wilkens, head of a design agency in San Francisco, believes that it is impossible to carry out an effective meeting when those taking part are only really half there. "Incomplete attentiveness leads to incomplete results," believes Wilkens, who has even summed up the topless philosophy in a little meeting etiquette guide. Rule two: Somebody has to put improving productivity above personal popularity and rip all the others' mobile toys out of their hands. Although they complain about it at first, the online junkies will be secretly pleased to be free of their addiction for a couple of hours.



Entry #5 - Points: 11
John Farebrother
John Farebrother
United Kingdom
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For a while now a new idea has been doing the rounds in American top floors and companies: work discussions, team meetings and presentations are henceforth only to be allowed in “topless” format. Many men, and even more women may be wondering with some irritation whether, in a surprising dissolute turn of American society, this now means that interactions have to be held half-naked.

Any knowledge of the prudishness of American society allows such a thought to be dismissed out of hand. In fact from now on meetings are to be held not shirtless, but laptop-less. These and similar gadgets such as iPhone, Sidekick and Blackberry are spoiling the communication culture prevalent in such meetings, which is anyway not particularly good. E-mails are eagerly checked during discussions, participants chat, SMS, game and blog. Eyes are on the screen and the mind is anywhere but in the meeting, where it should be. For that reason many businesses, especially those with on-line activities, are considering imposing a blanket ban on the use of wireless IT in meetings.

With this enforced abstinence the champions of the topless concept hope not only to successfully counter the symptoms of divided attention, lack of concentration and the consequent declining productivity of their staff, but also to reinforce the social factor, which has suffered noticeably since the introduction of mobile on-line services. It also of course shows a lack of respect, when someone has prepared themselves and is addressing others, to google cinema schedules and the latest stock exchange prices.

This is roughly the tenor of a discussion launched in the last year principally by a blog contribution significantly entitled “My personal war against Crackberry“. The author Todd Wilkens, boss of a design agency in San Francisco, is of the opinion that an effective work meeting is practically impossible if the participants are only partly present. “Inadequate attention leads to inadequate results“ says Wilkens, and has even summarised the topless philosophy in a little meetings handbook. Rule two: for the sake of increased productivity you have to make yourself unpopular and strip other people of their mobile toys. Even if they grumble at first, the online junkies are secretly grateful to be released from their addiction for a few hours.



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