In theory, meetings are a great tool to discuss issues, share information, solve problems and inspire new ideas. Unfortunately, the reality is that one third of more than 11 million meetings held each day are considered unproductive!
In his book, Death by Meeting, Patrick Lencioni provides simple and powerful tips to solve the problem of unproductive meetings by introducing the reader to a blueprint for success.
Lencioni introduces us to the founder and CEO of a Software company who is considered to be fairly successful and yet, attendees at his weekly executive staff meetings would not describe him or the meetings he conducts in a positive way. They use words like unproductive, boring, passionless and unfocused to describe their meetings.
As the story unfolds, the CEO learns powerful and simplistic ways to make the meeting experience so much better! Within the meeting blueprint provided in this book, two key elements are introduced. The first is the concept of “mining for conflict” to create engagement, passion and improve decision making and results. The second is to offer a contextual structure to meetings. Lencioni suggests that there are four types of meetings needed in organizations and meeting participants need to know the purpose of each meeting.
The four types of meetings are:
Daily Check-in – share daily schedules and activities
Weekly Tactical – review weekly activities, metrics and resolve tactical issues
Monthly Strategic – discuss, analyze, brainstorm and decide upon critical issues affecting long term success
Quarterly Off-site Review – review strategy, industry trends, competitive landscape, key personnel, team development
In our work with leaders, we often say that effective leadership is about taking what is common sense and turning it into common practice. The simplicity of Lencioni’s suggestions seem so obvious and yet, poor meeting results and dissatisfied participants continue to plague companies across Corporate America.
This is a “must read” book!
Recommendation by Nancy Lewis
Principal and Co-Founder, Living As A Leader®
Nancy Lewis is an expert leadership development facilitator, coach and consultant. One of her greatest talents is designing and executing customized solutions to complex leadership challenges. With nearly 30 years in the field, Nancy is highly sought after as a versatile provider to many companies within a variety of industries.
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