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Read This Before Our Next Meeting

A few weeks ago I picked up a free copy of Read This Before Our Next Meeting by Al Pittampalli. It offers an interesting twist on the strategy for meetings in organizations. Here are some of the highlights from my reading:

  • “We’re now addicted to meetings that insulate us from the work we ought to be doing.”
  • “When’s the last time any one of us made a game-changing decision that made our hearts race?”
  • “I can think of no single great innovation that has ever happened without the presence of opposition.”
  • “Regularly interrupting the day to bring our best minds together to focus on the urgent makes it impossible for these people to spend their focused energy on what’s actually important.”
  • “Peter Drucker tells us that meetings are by definition a concession to deficient organization. We either meet or work. We can’t do both at the same time.”
  • “Meetings need to be less like the endless commercial breaks during a football game, and more like pit stops at the Daytona 500.”
  • “Meetings have become a tool to delay decisions. They have become our default stalling tactic.”
  • “We must structure the Modern Meeting so that bold decisions happen often and quickly, and those decisions are converted into movement that leads our organization forward—fearlessly.”
  • “Modern Meetings can’t exist without a decision to support. Not a question to discuss—a decision.”
  • “I believe that just about anyone is capable of participating productively in a brainstorming session, but with one important caveat: the closer the topic is to the work you do all day, the worse you will perform.”
  • “Group decision making often leads to a culture of compromise.”

I don’t necessarily buy into all the principles discussed in the book. For example, I’m not sure what I think about every decision happening outside the context of a team meeting. However, I think this is a good read for anyone who is responsible for organizing and leading people to reassess the effectiveness of meetings.

Here’s my Amazon link if you’d like to pick up a copy to read and discuss with your team.

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Tony is the Chief Strategic Officer and founder of The Unstuck Group. For 14 years, Tony served on the senior leadership teams at West Ridge Church (Dallas, GA), NewSpring Church (Anderson, SC) and Granger Community Church (Granger, IN). He's written several books and articles that have been featured with the Willow Creek Association, Catalyst and Pastors.com.