Author tells us why 'action theater' is hindering truly productive work chats with colleagues, and what we can do to help.

Security guru Bruce Schneier derides as “security theater” much of the rigmarole we experience at airports. Bureaucratic routine gives the impression of adding to safety, but it often gets in the way of the flexibility and alertness needed.

I have long felt that organisations have an equivalent blind spot, not at airports but in everyday meetings. I call it “action theater” — we go through a series of rituals apparently to ensure we have action, but are in fact deluding ourselves, and draining the energy of just about everyone involved.

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