May 21, 2020

By Dan Hammond, Chief Disruption Officer, LIW

Matthew Syed’s brilliantly named article ‘We can go on meeting like this’ is a refreshing endorsement of the power of virtual meetings. It must be said, it starts with an indictment on meetings in general, calling them ‘forums in which we become collectively stupid’.

The good news is that many negative aspects of meetings are diminished in a virtual setting. One is that the hippo is less powerful. Coined by Avinash Kaushik, hippo stands for Highest Paid Person’s Opinion and it tends to dominate. Virtual meetings flatten hierarchies and create what Leigh Thompson of Northwestern University calls the ‘weak-get-strong effect’.

What does this mean for leadership?

Don’t leave it to chance. Make the most of the virtual setting to ensure that everyone has a voice.

Those hippos make a lot of noise!

Share this story: