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Read This Before Our Next Meeting Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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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
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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. These types of `informaional meetings' are a big waste of your and everyone else's time.
- Simply turning up for a meeting isn't enough. All attendees should be expected to `turn up' in mind and spirit and contribute something to the meeting. Make it clear that they must add some value to proceedings (asking questions, sharing insight, offering to take on task) otherwise they aren't welcome or necessary and won't be invited to future meetings.
- Make sure that all meetings have a clear purpose, clear objective(s) and end on time. Put a big visual countdown timer on display so people know that you mean business.
- Ensure that someone makes good and proper notes from the meeting which are circulated soon after with clear action points for all attendees. I would actually suggest that if it's important, the person calling the meeting should also take their own notes and follow things up personally. Ideally, all attendees should be making their own notes too and taking responsibility for actions in the actual meeting (far too many do neither and then can't remember what was agreed to).
Like all Domino Project titles, this highly useful book is deliberately fast-paced and designed to be read in around 1hr (I read mine via Kindle App on my Windows Phone on the bus journey home from work).
So, if you're sick of feeling like your time is being wasted by pointless meetings or are simply looking for ways to improve your professional capacity and productivity at work, then I highly recommend you grab hold of a copy. Even better if you can share it with your colleagues too so they can understand where you are coming from.
Perhaps you could even hold a `Modern Meeting' to discuss how to roll them out across the organisation?
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.
The author has geared a book that is more design for "How" to solve a problem. His methods will not work for "Why" solve the problem. If the organization does not understand the why, it is often pointless to worry about the how. I suggest the author read up on change management.
The author has selected a topic that is a major issue in many organizations but he needs to do more research and rework his proposed solutions.