Meetings are an essential part of our work. Great meetings help people to pool resources and knowledge to solve problems and make sound decisions. However, bad meetings are painful, a waste of time and resources, and lead to bad decisions. In “Death by Meeting”, Patrick Lencioni offers a simple, practical solution to make your meetings more effective and enjoyable. In this summary, we’ll briefly explain the model of effective meetings presented in the book.
The paradox of meetings is this: they are critical to our work, yet we dread meetings as they’re often draggy and useless. Lencioni uses a fable to illustrate the dynamics behind meetings, and how they can affect organizational outcomes. He draws a parallel between meetings and movies, to present an easy-to-understand model to run meetings effectively.
A Model for Effective Meetings
In a nutshell, there are 2 key problems with meetings: they are boring, and they are ineffective:
• We can inject drama and conflict to make meetings more interesting and engaging, by using a hook and mining for conflict. In the book / full Death by Meeting summary, we touch on what’s the 10-minute hook and how to constructively draw out conflict and different points of view.
• Most teams have just 1 type of meeting where everyone discusses everything. To create contextual structure, we should have 4 types of meetings, each with a different focus, duration and structure to address different objectives. Here are the 4 meetings at a glance: Daily Check-ins (5-10min), Weekly Tacticals (45-90 mins), Monthly/Ad-hoc Strategic (2-4hrs), and Quarterly Off-site Review (1-2 days). Do check out the the book/ full summary for the full tips on how to get the most from each of these meetings:
Other Details in “Death by Meeting”
This is an extremely easy-to-read book, with practical tips that are reinforced both in the fable and in an executive summary at the end of the book. The fable illustrates many common scenarios, frustrations and concerns with meetings at the workplace, and how the tips above can be applied. For more details, do get a copy of the book, our Death by Meeting summary bundle, or visit https://tablegroup.com.
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