As someone who works in another state away from the corporate office, I can appreciate the independance in working solo. At the same time – every trip I take to CA reinforces the goals of the company. It reminds me why I like/respect the people I work with and it gives me opportunities to converse with these people. These opportunities, while available by phone or email aren’t usually taken on a daily basis because of any number of reasons.
So requiring 4 hours a week of actual time at the White House with cabinet secretaries sounds like a great way to me to make sure everyone is getting heard, and to make sure the White House is getting heard. I’m not buying that this is a way to control the opinions of very smart people. Leaders lead and working to convince others of your ideas can be done without the control factor.
But practically speaking, face time, for all concerned is a good thing.