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Executive Nostalgia For “Two Cans And A String,” Plain Talk Instead of PowerPoint

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December 2, 2020

A panel of corporate secretaries and counsel expressed a growing sense of “videoconferencing ennui” and “zoom fatigue,” says an article in trade publication Corporate Secretary. Some governance teams say they are simply tired of seeing themselves on the screen. The malaise extends beyond screen conferencing: In lieu of power point presentations during virtual roundtables, one New York-based financial firm asks senior management to send out quarterly “state-of-the-union” style memos before meetings, “When you actually write a memo, you have to write prose and you have to make a point,’ says the company’s GC. Directors appreciate these memos, he says, because they tend to be “complete thoughts” that give a sense of the highs and lows of the quarter under review. One panel participant – the general counsel of a Fortune 500 high-tech electrical component company, no less – says for their next board meeting they may be using an old-fashioned phone system, “two cans and a string, almost!”

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