Diageo Bans PowerPoint

Diageo websiteDiageo, an alcoholic beverages company, has banned PowerPoint presentations at some meetings. In an AdAge article, James Thompson, the company's North American chief marketing and innovation officer, describes his perspective:

"It stops conversation. It makes people feel secure they've communicated what they wanted to. But, in fact, it doesn't move anything on," he said. So he has instituted a PowerPoint ban in some meetings. "Just talk to me, please" is his plea. His goal is to ensure his marketing team is "not totally buttoned-up all the time," he said. "We just want people to be at their best, and that is usually when they are able to think and respond and build rather than sell."

The change is part of other efforts, for example, hiring, to revive the company culture. Thompson said, "I've got nothing against MBA programs," but he is recruiting people from different sources instead of "where people came into the organization in a very conventional way and worked their way up in a very conventional way."

Discussion Starters:

  • Do you agree with Diageo's decision? What are potential consequences of the decision?
  • What could be some alternatives to a ban on PowerPoint?
  • If you banned PowerPoint at some meetings, which type of meetings would you include?
  • Consider different types of PowerPoints discussed in the text book. How are some outputs better for some audiences?