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Book Review – Death by Meeting by Patrick Lencioni

Death by Meeting by Patrick Lencioni

Death by Meeting by Patrick Lencioni

I have traditionally been a meeting hater, and I picked up this book hoping it would give a solution to the problem of “too many meetings”. Instead, it came as a surprise when Patrick advocated having more meetings in this book. He points out that meetings are not bad, but badly organised. He correlates meetings with movies (yes, really) to show how meetings should be more fun than movies…

The book is cleverly divided into two parts – The Fable and The Model. The first part is in the form of a novel with normal characters like we encounter everyday in our professional lives. The author illustrates his point of what is lacking in our meetings, how to make them more effective and a productive experience. The second part summarizes his concepts on how to make meetings better by having four different types of meetings –
• The Daily Check In (5 minutes, happens daily)
• Weekly Tactical (45-90 minutes, happens weekly)
• Monthly Strategic or Ad Hoc Strategies (2-3 hours, happens monthly or ad-hoc)
• Quarterly off-site review (2 days, happens quarterly)
It is a tough pill to swallow when the author compares movies with meetings. Lencioni argues that meetings should be more interesting than movies because meetings are interactive instead of movies which are passive, and the outcome of meetings affect our day to day lives unlike movies. His suggestion of different types of meetings is also based on TV programs of different lengths like News Headlines, Sitcoms, Movies, and Mini Series. He also suggests conflict to be an important part of every meeting for making better decisions.
Death by Meeting (buy from Flipkart or Amazon) is like a blueprint for leaders who want to eliminate waste and frustration among their teams, and create environments of engagement and passion. This book shows us that what is needed is a paradigm shift on how we think about and attend meetings. Meetings are where business leaders spend most of their time, and rather than avoiding them, this book shows how to see them as an opportunity. So go ahead and grab this book, and you will finish it in a couple of days…
You can see a list of all my favorite books here

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