Just Think If for five or six years in a row the same 10 or 15 people in a company have the same conversations about strategy in the same way, it's unlikely that new insights will emerge. Instead, we need conversations that cross the boundaries of function, technology, hierarchy, business, and geography.

Need a Read? The Character of a Corporation, by Rob Goffe and Gareth Jones (1998, Harper Business), offers some interesting insights into how a company's meetings and incentives reflect its culture, which the authors have categorized as: networked, mercenary, communal, or fragmented. Not only does the book synthesize the differences between cultures, using examples from companies such as Hewlett-Packard and Disney, it explores how companies can transform negative cultures and use culture as a competitive advantage. As the authors see it, corporate culture is "the most underutilized resource in business today."

New Sensation A hotel within a hotel, the newly opened Four Seasons Las Vegas occupies Floors 35 to 39 of the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. Well-suited for incentive groups and high-end meetings, it's also the Strip's only non-gaming hotel. Most striking is the hotel's size (424 rooms) and air of tranquility, with its own tree-shaded private entrance and express elevators that shoot guests right up to their luxurious rooms high above the bustle outside--above it all, if you will. Meeting specs: four meeting rooms, a boardroom, and two ballrooms (10,500 and 5,400 square feet).

Book Mark For a library of articles on rewards, recognition, incentives, and performance of improvement, check out www.motivationonline.com's Motivation University. You'll also find online chats about performance improvement topics, a bookstore, and a resource center.

The site is comprehensive, easy to navigate, and worth a return visit.

Remember This "You can begin a fruitful exchange on the Net, but if you want a more powerful relationship, you'll have to climb up to the greater bandwidth of a face-to-face meeting."

--John Perry Barlow, cofounder and vice chairman, Electronic Frontier Foundation