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Don't Just Do Something, Stand There!: Ten Principles for Leading Meetings That Matter 1st Edition

5 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1576754252
ISBN-10: 1576754251
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sandra Janoffis a consultant and psychologist who works with Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, communities, and nonprofits on whole systems transformation. Janoff and Weisbord foundedFuture Search Network, an international collaborative of volunteers who deliverstrategic planning services worldwide in any language for any culture. They alsocoauthored Don t JustDo Something, Stand There! and three editions of Future Search.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 194 pages
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers; 1 edition (July 16, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1576754251
  • ISBN-13: 978-1576754252
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.4 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #175,889 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Robert E. Young on October 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
Don't Just Do Something, Stand There: Ten Principles for Leading Meetings That Matter
The title, Don't Just Do Something, Stand There, caught my attention and knocked me off balance. As a member and leader of a number of organizations over the course of 76 years, I have often been referred to as an "activist." The reverse of the title has been almost a mantra of mine. If something needs to be made right, is it not my job to do something? Anything less is a kind of cowardice, and I become an accomplice to the wrong-doing. You would think I would know better, but
the problem seems to be getting worse. The book came my way none too soon.
In college at Penn State, in the 50's, William Werner, a literature professor, said to me in an aside, "There are two reasons to read: one is the confirmation of something you already are familiar with and appreciate; second, is the thrill of new experience." His comments have stayed with me throughout these many years better than the contents of the course in The European Novel that I took with him.
I did find much in the book that I already know and apply, drawing from psychology, group dynamics, organizational development, etc. and presented in a readable, user-friendly manner. My copy is full of notes in the margin of comments like "yes," and of exclamation marks. And for sure, there was also much that was new, again drawing from the same fields, but with practical examples that made the reading alive and here and now, and answered questions that had come to me a moment earlier. The authors have years of hands-on experience throughout the world in their work, and have done their homework, learning from and sharing relevant research in the field.
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Format: Paperback
As someone who has followed the work of Marv Weisbord and Sandra Janoff for a long time, I was not sure what they would have to say here that was new. So I was delighted and amazed to see the fullness and depth of their understanding about meeting management and facilitation. They make clear here why our conventional assumptions about how to get important things done with groups of people (not merely run common meetings) are way past outmoded. Then they give you specific techniques for managing others and managing yourself whenever people gather to do to useful work. If you ever expect to get anything done in a meeting, this is the (actually quite short) volume for you.
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This book is much more than a menu for how to run meetings more effectively, although yes, it is filled with strikingly simple and practical steps to make a gathering of any kind more humane and productive. But in a deeper context, it embodies a particular theory and philosophy of leadership and planning that recognize that every person does the best they can with what they have, and that people come equipped with the capacity for extraordinary cooperation if given a chance to use their own experience and wisdom. Moreover, it is based on a set of principles that synthesize a century of research on the conditions and structures that are most likely to bring out the best in human beings, regardless of nationality, politics, culture, and other boundaries. It provides the reader with tools to create an environment and energy level that celebrate the magnificent diversity of our species and, at the same time, enable the discovery of common ground and shared aspirations. Such a balance between honoring diversity and discovering common ground provides the foundation for previously unlikely action to make the world more just and peaceful. As I reflect on my 30 years as a physician, public health leader, and public servant, I now realize, after reading this remarkable book, that remarkable outcomes are indeed possible when people gather and engage in the higher level of dialogue and conversation represented here. The principles, exquisitely described in this book, provide powerful guideposts for creating humane public policy and systems. More, the application of these principles can pave the way for effective grassroots programs that continue for years. By demonstrating that ordinary people can achieve extraordinary results when given the time and space to work from their own experience and uniqueness, Weisbord and Janoff make a major contribution to the urgent challenge to keep hope alive in our troubled world.
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There are very few people anywhere who know more about how to lead and run groups than Marvin Weisbord and Sandra Janoff. Twenty years ago they designed Future Search Conferences. Since then they have used these conferences to work with businesses, organizations, communities and diverse cultural groups around the world. Even more importantly, they have trained hundreds of other people to lead and run these conferences. Unlike other books that teach you about group techniques for your tool kit, this book talks about the person carrying the tool kit. The authors share what they have learned about the skills you need for group work: how to become conscious and discern the energy and spirit in groups; how to develop a positive attitude; how to create workable boundaries and structures; how to sense changes and transitions; how to handle confusion and chaos; how to respect the self-organizing capacity of groups; how, to determine how, when, and if you should intervene; how to build positive relationships in a group; and how to foster and support emerging visions. It's all in the book-in plain language, descriptive images and meaningful stories. If you lead or run groups, regardless of the process, or even if you are simply a participant in a group and want to help your group become more effective, this book, based upon years of practical experience, will prove invaluable.
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