Getting rid of slack
filling with ZERO PPT
#”I bought a bag of nitrogen,
The scandal about excessive nitrogen fillings in packaged chips, where a seemingly big bag of chips only contains few pieces, once rattled the whole country. Looking back at my school days, I feel that I was not that different from that half-empty bag of chips. I did everything I can to decorate the PowerPoint document just to make my presentation stand out. I even bought nice looking design templates online and exhausted all my efforts on using Photoshop to make prettier images. The presentation with slick PPT files led to results that aren’t so bad. I focused more on ‘pretty PPT’ rather than logical and structured content. I was complacent telling myself ‘that’s good enough’.
# Then came the ZERO PPT
“ZERO PPT is a significant policy that goes in line with Hyundai Card’s Simplification initiative,”
I first encountered the ‘ZERO PPT’ policy during the Corporate Culture session as part of Hyundai Card, Capital Summer Internship Orientation. ‘ZERO PPT’ campaign aims to reduce reports made in PPT format as they tend to make people work unnecessarily long hours. The intention is to focus more on delivering the contents rather than being bound by report formats. In the past, Hyundai Card, Capital was just like any other company which wasted many hours and manpower on unessential PPT work. It used to take at least one or two days, or as long as 3~4 days just to write up reports.
Just as rumors had it, everything was very ‘Hyundai Card-like’. Then one after another, little doubts started to creep in. Will reports and presentations be feasible without PPT? Won’t people find a bypass, by decorating Word or Excel files as they would with PPT? I expected to see many employees who had been so used to PPT strongly resist to these changes. Convinced that ‘ZERO PPT’ is a failed policy at best; I searched the hard disk on my PC. No matter hard I looked, however, ‘Microsoft PowerPoint 2010’ was nowhere to be found. I was in utter shock. That’s the only way I can describe the kind of situation I was in. For someone who had been so dependent on PPT, I had to agonize over what kind of tool I should use to prepare my presentation.
# ’Unexpected changes’
brought about by ZERO PPT
First I opened the Word program and created a new file on the screen. I sat there for a while just staring blankly at white screen. I had no idea where to begin. Then I started to jot things down and soon enough, getting used to it was easier than I thought.
First I scribbled down on paper some thoughts I had in mind. Interim reports about how I was getting ready for the presentation were made verbally. Without the necessary hassle, I could focus more on creating substance, which in turn made everything more logical. The best part was the amount of time saved. Often in many PPT presentations, the so-called ‘animated effects’ are quite critical. That’s why many people get carried away with exerting too much efforts on making them ‘cool’ with neat and sophisticated images. Now that I didn’t have to bother with any of these, I could engage in other things of importance instead. The words of the team lead that ‘You can use the time freed up by not making fancy and flowery PPTs on adding more substance to the presentation’ turned out to be true after all. This time, I could truly focus on putting together a genuine presentation.
The unexpected change had already arrived at Hyundai Card. Each division took turns to ban the use of PowerPoint for a month then from March of 2016 employee PCs only supported the PowerPoint viewer program. As a result, 35% of PPT uses has been replaced by e-mail reports and 19% by verbal reports. Initially there was some pushback from the employees but now it seems that almost everyone is prioritizing the substance and material over the format. It was indeed a remarkable change brought about a small shift in reporting habits.
# Simplify work,
Focus on the Essential
Everybody wants to excel at what they do. That’s why people resort to all sorts of tools to boost the productivity and efficiency of their work. After a hands on experience with the ZERO PPT policy however, I came to understand that sometimes such tools can hamper productivity. Simplification is all about simplifying the work process so that you can focus on the essential and maximize efficiency. That just became one more reason why I so desperately want to join Hyundai Card, Capital.
Written by Hewdam Cho, Intern
[From: Hyundai Card/Capital/Commercial Monthly Newletter, Inside H]