- The Domino Project: Designed for organizations big and small, the ideas in The Domino Project will change things for the better.
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Read This Before Our Next Meeting Hardcover – August 3, 2011
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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
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I figured this book was another one on how to write agendas, how to make decisions as a team. I was wrong. Read morePublished 13 days ago by D. H. Runyan
Nice book about meetings with an innovate approach, I understand that this book is kind of a quick guide for meetings, if that is the case I missed more information of how to deal... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Benjamin Villar Lurquin
This is a fantastic book that will have a great impact on any business.Published 3 months ago by Top D.
If half these rules are followed our organization would get twice as much work done! I hope more people will read and adopt these principles! ThanksPublished 3 months ago by Edward P Sullivan
This book is designed to make every meeting cut throat, but sometimes meetings can be for relationship building and that's a hard model to follow with that goal.Published 4 months ago by Jonathan T.