Why are the G8 bothering to meet face to face this week in N. Ireland for their Summit?
Regardless of the relevance of the G8 itself to the world economy of 2013, there was discussion on Radio 5 this morning about the need for them to physically meet to get business done. Given the cost, why not use technology and everyone stay where they are?
It’s because face to face events are still the most powerful way to get things done and are of increasing importance when they do happen in the right way. It was pointed out that having the meeting in the diary long in advance forces a cycle of work and debate leading up to the event and then decision making with a hard deadline at the end of it. The publicity and noise surrounding the event draws attention to the issues. Most importantly, such an occasion forces the participants to make things happen, be seen to act and rise to the occasion.
We often get asked the same question with regard to business events – management conferences and the like: “Can’t we just do it over video-conference to save money?” or “how can we make them a better use of peoples time”. Our view is the same as with the G8. If it’s important business that needs to be dealt with, structured and run correctly then there is no more powerful tool for accelerating change.