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Read This Before Our Next Meeting Hardcover – August 3, 2011

141 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

Book Description: How many times have you dreaded going to a meeting either because you viewed it as a waste of time or because you weren’t prepared. Dread no longer: Read This Before Our Next Meeting not only explains what’s wrong with “the meeting,” and meeting culture, but suggests how to make meetings more effective, efficient, and worthy of attending. It assesses when it’s necessary to skip the meeting and get right to work. Al Pittampalli shares examples of transforming workplaces by revamping the purpose of the meeting and a company's meeting culture. This book belongs on the shelf of any employee, employer and company looking to revolutionize what it means to do "work" all day and how to do it. Simply put: Stop wasting time. Read This Before Our Next Meeting is the call to action you (or your boss) needs to create the company that does the meaningful work it was created to do. Review

Russell Bishop Reviews Read This Before Our Next Meeting

Russell Bishop is the managing partner of Bishop & Bishop, a consulting and coaching company helping executives and managers increase alignment and improve execution across the organization. The author of Workarounds That Work, he is a weekly columnist and senior editor at the Huffington Post. Read his review of Al Pittampalli's Read This Before Our Next Meeting:

Al Pittampalli addresses a time worn challenge that all of us have experienced for which many of us are chief executioner: Death by Meeting. However, rather than simply adding to the chorus of complaints about time-sucking, energy-sapping, life force-killing meetings, Al actually proposes something useful--The Modern Meeting and its seven critical principles of effective meeting management.

The single most powerful question to ask yourself or your co-workers when faced with a challenging situation is: What difference could you make that requires no one’s permission other than your own? Al embraces this critical notion of personal responsibility in his counter-intuitive approach to getting senior management to adopt the modern meeting: you don’t have to get everyone on board--you just need to start and let your success influence others to get on board.

If you find yourself withering away in endless meetings, if your organization suffers from consensus constipation, if you can’t seem to get a decision made this century, read this book now. Wait a minute--reading this book won’t help any more than reading a prescription will get you better. Instead, apply the Seven Principles and let your creative productivity soar! --Russell Bishop


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: The Domino Project; 7.4.2011 edition (August 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936719169
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936719167
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (141 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #697,030 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Al Pittampalli is the author of Persuadable: How Great Leaders Change Their Minds to Change the World (Harper Business 2016). As a business consultant, he's helped organizations like NASA, Hertz, Boeing, IBM and more transform the way they think about leadership. His first book, Read This Before Our Next Meeting, was the most popular kindle book in the world during the week of its release and has been translated into five different languages. Al has been featured in NPR, Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and more. You can learn more about Al at:

Author photo by Stuart Tracte

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

75 of 76 people found the following review helpful By lordlancaster on August 3, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
How many meetings do you have at work where you leave thinking `what a complete waste of time and effort'?

If the answer is `a lot' or `most of them' then you really must read Al Pittampalli's excellent new book `Read This Before Our Next Meeting`.

The latest title from The Domino Project, Al's book highlights all that is wrong with the `traditional meeting' and suggests a better, more productive way to do business through the `Modern Meeting`.

Describing Microsoft Office email Appointments as `weapons of mass interruption', Al hits the nail on the head when he says that it's far too easy for people to call team meetings with little care or thought for the impact they might have on the recipients that have to sit through 'another bad meeting'.

Furthermore, he points out how meetings have become stalling tactics and havens for complacency and collective indecision in too many organisations around the world. Too many meetings with too many people (or the wrong ones) leads to inaction, compromise and mediocrity. `Less talk, more action' should be the new mantra.

Some of the key themes and ideas I took from the book which I will be trying to implement in future include;

- Thinking really, really carefully before calling a meeting and who you should invite. (Sounds obvious but is a very important point to make).
- Taking your time to circulate reading materials before the meeting and INSISTING that all attendees read them beforehand. If they turn up for the meeting without reading, then you are perfectly within your rights to ask them to leave. Time is precious and you certainly don't have time to go through the background info at the beginning.
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59 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Phillip J. Moore on September 23, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was eager to read this book. I was hoping that the author had some valuable insight. I was disappointed. There is little research in this book. The book is mostly opinion. It is more of an essay than a real book. I was surprised to find that the author was advocating for strong top down management.

My impression was the author was mostly familiar with internal departmental meetings. I doubt if he has ever tried to resolve a very controversial problem or led complex project. His notion of a meeting is very narrow. His rules may work for departmental meetings but I doubt if they work with collaborative efforts outside the organization particularly if some of the partners are a little reluctant.

This is not to say I disagreed with everything. He does have some common sense rules that could apply to many aspects of management. I do believe time-lines and agendas are good tools. I agree that for many meetings limiting the attendance is more productive but to make it a universal rule for all meeting is a mistake. Action plans after a meeting are good. I agreed that everyone should do their homework before the meeting but if you kick out those that don't it would be easy to submarine any project you don't like.

My biggest disagreement with this vision is he belief that the leader should make a decision before the meeting has started. I value and respect the views of my department heads. I frequently change my preconceived notions based on information they possess. Better decisions are made with more facts. They are also more likely to support the decision if they help craft it and understand the reason behind it. Top down has its place but it is a mistake for many many issues.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Dave Weinberg on August 3, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
"Like war, meetings are a last resort"
Al Pittampalli

One of the things I *LOVED* about Al Pittampalli's, 'Read this Before Our Next Meeting' was the time it took to read it. Swiped through (kindle app on iPad) in less time than most 'traditional' meetings take to slog through. Like a quick trip to Chipotle's for a Burrito Bowl - it reads like nutritional fast food but leaves you seven-course meal satisfied - with seven principles for serving-up the 'modern' meeting.

Pittampalli leads and writes by example, the seemingly intentional brevity of the book appears to mirror his assertions of how you need to conduct your next meeting - with purpose, punctuality and preparedness. Meeting's must produce an action plan and it is your job as leader - to follow-up on all participant's progress.

In true Domino Project fashion, 'Read this...' delivers more like a manifesto (blogifesto?). Pittampalli gives voice to our collective consciousness riding just beneath surface:

"Like all human beings, we're terrified of making decisions. In the face of pressing, difficult decisions, we stall. Meetings are a socially acceptable and readily available way of doing so."

In the seven principles of modern meetings, Pittampalli pulls no punches on (the modern meeting) purpose. If you're not actively participating there's simply no room for you at the table next time. If a meeting needs to be called to advance a decision - then the meeting needs to be about conflict and coordination. Debate, decide, done!

'Read this...' fulfills with a hearty FAQ / how to. One of my favorite stand-outs for those who always feel that consensus must be reached:

Q: "What if I end up making a decision that not everyone agrees with?
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