Friday, September 24, 2010

Maximum Global Efficiency

Dear United Nations General Assembly,

Do you have problems checking everything off your "To Do" list?

Does it seem like your annual ministerial meetings take forever?

Do you think you have an image problem about getting stuff done?

Then don't let your guest speakers ramble on forever!

How do you kindly put the kabosh on long-winded addressees, much like U.S. President Obama, who yesterday spoke for 32 minutes, when he was only allotted 15?

Play them off!

Take a cue from awards shows---if they didn't set limits on how long it takes to say thank you, we'd still be watching the Academy Awards from this past March.  They allot the winners 30 seconds, and when that time is up, you get the not-so-subtle hint that you're done.  Please take your leave.

While you don't have an orchestra on hand to start playing some soaring music, surely you've got the ability to broadcast some music in the assembly hall.  When the speaker's time is up, start playing the national anthem from the speaker's country.  If you keep turning it up, they'll eventually get the hint.

The President, although he's a fine, intelligent speaker, really should know (or have someone on staff who knows) how long 15 minutes is by this stage in his career.  He shouldn't have gone over twice the allotted time.  A few bars from "The Star-Spangled Banner" at 15:30, when it was obvious that he wasn't going to wrap it up anytime soon, could have kept you on schedule.

Because really, you've got a world to run.  You need to keep at it.  In this case, say, "Diplomacy, shiplomacy," and show them who's in charge.

When you're accomplishing more in a shorter period of time, the world will thank you for it.

Your pal,

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