Got your attention, huh?

Here’s a link to a Merlin Mann post on 43Folders about a company who has banned the use of potentially distracting electronics from meetings:

Frustrated by distracted workers so plugged in that they tune out in the middle of business meetings, a growing number of companies are going “topless,” as in no laptops allowed. Also banned from some conference rooms: BlackBerrys, iPhones and other personal devices on which so many have come to depend…

As a frequent facilitator and presenter for meetings, I welcome the hard line ban on these distractions. On the flip side, I’m often a participant in disorganized and non-engaging meetings\presentations in which I wished for a ready distraction such as being able to check the news or catch up on reading some email.

If meetings are engaging, the participants are supposed to be there (they can add value) and the facilitator is well organized, the concept of restricting electronics will be more easily digested.

If meetings are boring, participants do not understand the reason for their presence, and there is no agenda and otherwise poor facilitation, then I believe iPhones should be handed out at the door.