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Will there be Donuts?: Better Business One Meeting at a Time Paperback – October 1, 2013


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Editorial Reviews

Review

‘It's relevant, useful and fun to read. What more could you ask for?’ Charles Handy

About the Author

David Pearl draws on his eclectic experience of the creative disciplines to help businesses around the world be more inspired and inspiring.
In 1995 he was asked by one of the world’s leading professional service firms to create a revolutionary personal and professional development program for their top 1000 people. The success of the program marked the beginning of David’s career with large corporate businesses.
Nearly 1000 projects later, he and his group have an international reputation for pioneering work with businesses and those who work in them. Clients he has worked with include GSK, BP, Unilever, Oracle, Dell & Disney.

David is in demand as a Public and Business Speaker, with a reputation for coaxing involvement out of even the most hard-bitten audiences.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (October 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007519532
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007519538
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,585,659 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Haggard TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 27, 2014
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The line "It's a jungle of dullness" is a great line from this book, and it is spot on. I work in a corporate office setting and I spend most of my days in meetings. Some I look at the organizer and I am happy to go, others I drag my feet as I walk to them, sometimes pondering if I should throw myself down the stairs to break a leg instead of showing up.

This book "Will there be Donuts" is really a great book that I wish I could get my company to buy and include it in our leadership development course. The book opens up talking about different meeting styles, and I immediately thought about today's lineup of meetings where I have "Lilliput Syndrome" which is where they just aren't relevant to you. The term came from Gulliver's travels and the tie in here (pun intended) is that you go to the meeting, you find it's not relevant and so you try to get up and leave but you discover you are tied down and a prisoner. There are many other styles/syndromes listed as well but I think that one is todays theme.

I really love on page 10 there is a "useful terms" guide and one of the words is "they" and it says

"They are the people who are causing the problems. They are not going to read this book, which is why you will have to do it for the,. They sat in the middle rows at school and were proud of their pencil cases. They are the boring folk. Not us. Lets keep it that way."

If that makes you smile and go, he's right! Then stop reading this review and order the book now! :) IT really is a fun, great book on meetings.

Overall it's an eye opener. I know my company has a lot of "nearly" meetings as this book defines them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Bee Bee TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 17, 2014
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
David Pearl's "Will there be Donuts?: Better Business One Meeting at a Time" is another one of "those" business books that discusses an issue everyone is acutely aware of (hint: most meetings suck, they're a waste of time, they drain productivity, etc.) and provides "insights" on how to solve the problem. I've spent most of my career in the field of organizational communication and like many of us who've wasted a good portion of our adult lives in droning business meetings, I already recognize the fundamental flaws that make meetings suck. I think most of us are also well aware of how to solve the problem. It's not about organizational techniques or gimmicks to make meetings "fun." The real solution is two-fold: stop having meetings and if you do have one, get the people at the front of the room to limit their PowerPoint decks to three slides and teach them how to shut up and sit down. A lot of wealthy people have made a career out of advising businesses and organizations about how to improve the quality of their meetings, and I would offer that most of the money spent on their "insights" has been wasted. To author Pearl's credit, he does take an overworked concept and make it somewhat more interesting by looking at the issues with a fresh set of eyes. But unless you're working in a company that resists (or simply refuses) to change its meeting culture, the solutions offered here are mostly toothless.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Todd Justman VINE VOICE on March 4, 2014
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The irony of this book is that people hate meetings because they waste time, yet this person is expected to read an entire book on meetings. I say entire because the book is devoid of bulleted lists that would help me digest the material quickly.
British point of view is clear from the outset. Nothing new for me really, but I have deep experience participating and leading meetings both virtual and in-person. Good tips regarding virtual meetings, nothing new. A few items are interesting - I wish I had some bulleted lists to direct me to those nuggets!
I'm hesitant to go lower than three stars but am inclined, if anything, because I think someone could do a much better job. Still, the content is solid and someone new to meetings would absolutely benefit from reading it. I'm thinking any recent graduate who has entered the working world of meetings.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Wolf VINE VOICE on April 17, 2014
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The hours I've sat in meetings and the alphabet soup of this that and the other (PDSA, LEAN, etc.)
What I like about this book is that it talks about not only the meeting but creating community and using opportunities planned or not.

This book has a lot of little stories to illustrate points. While this helps to bring the points home I wish there were less stories and more bullet points. -- Kind of what I want in emails and meetings in general.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Neal Reynolds VINE VOICE on March 8, 2014
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Yes indeed, business meetings are a drag. And that's the big idea of this book. David Pearl is an exuberant author and his zest is well conveyed here. This is indeed a guide bent on making those meetings truly mean something and accomplish something. This truly is a book worth your while that will benefit you in large ways..
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Meetings are the bane of modern-day business. Is there any way to make them not so long, boring and unproductive?

First of all, exchange the donuts and soda for something much healthier, like water and protein bars. The sugar rush, followed by the mid-afternoon sugar crash, helps no one.

Why do people attend meetings? It's a nice alternative to doing actual work, technology makes it possible, we confuse "efficient" and "effective", and we forget that there is an alternative.

Looking at the anatomy of meetings, there is a big difference between what a meeting is about, and the intention. Make sure the "right" people are at your meeting, like the Leader, the Recorder, the Facilitator and the Coach. Look at things from the point of view of your customers. Read magazines that you would not normally read; listen to other radio stations. Who attends meetings? Do they have to be there?

What can be done? The average hotel "business conference room" is a windowless room in the basement with harsh artificial lighting. Stay out of that room. Hold your meeting in the hotel lounge, or, even better, hold it outside. Back at the office, consider getting rid of your big, rectangular conference table, and replacing it with several smaller tables with swivel chairs.

Have an agenda, and stick to it (but leave room for the unexpected). Is this meeting to brainstorm new ideas, or to keep everyone informed on recent developments? Don't let anyone change the focus of the meeting, or otherwise monopolize it. Impose a Fine Jar, where all participants are required to pay if they are caught texting during the meeting.

This book is very much worth reading for companies of all sizes. Even small changes in a company's meetings can only help. Some sort of summary or bullet points would have made this book even better, but, yes, it is worth the money.
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