Conference Calls Control Time and Space not Minds

by : Ajeet Khurana

I always associate corporate culture with suits and ties in high summer, and with unending business meetings. I always picture these meetings being held in an air-conditioned conference room with a long rectangular table where the delegates are seated, some attentive, others bored, yet others thinking about the lunch hour. One person or two people at a time stand up to give a presentation, complete with graphs, charts, and statistics. Thereafter, there are questions, debates, arguments, and sometimes a conclusion. Finally, everyone files out towards the cafeteria.

Of course, these days, it is no longer necessary to have those really long tables at a conference room, thanks to the development of methods like conference calls and web conferencing. These are used increasingly frequently by corporate organizations to overcome the hurdles put up by time and space.

These days organizations that offer services to facilitate conference calls have been becoming increasingly competitive. And why shouldn't they? As demand for conferencing rises, so too will the supply, and everybody wants to prove that they are the best. So each conference call service provider tries to provide better service. So you can get CDs recording all that took place in the discussion. Also, the person hosting the conference call usually has access to a number of features that may be used to better the conference.

Perhaps I am being old-fashioned when I say that nothing can replace the good old days when every conference delegate was within touching distance. I am not convinced that the personal touch element can be achieved through conference calls. Can a conference call really be a good enough substitute?

Then again, conferencing is quite a cost effective way of getting one's employees together. The organization no longer has to spend as much on travel expenses to get people from far and wide to attend a meeting at a tiny portion of the globe. All it takes is a little expense on the technology involved, a little planning, and a conference call can be conducted with great ease. With a little practice, even those that are not what one might call technologically savvy, will soon be successfully having meetings with people who are continents away.

However, as with the meetings prior to conference calls, one can never really count on having everyone's mind on the job. That more than one mind will be wandering elsewhere, is guaranteed. Even with all our progress, the development of humanoid robots, cloned sheep and so on, we have yet to learn how to go about controlling people's minds.