The principle of death by meeting by Patrick M. Lencioni is simple. Meetings are usually boring, very routine, and don’t really provide much substance. You might consider this a drawback if you’re a group member, but meeting planners sometimes exploit this weakness to their advantage. They use it to get more out of meetings.
According to the “business fable,” meetings that don’t produce results are doomed to die. The linchpin of this business fable is the idea that failure to act decisively “causes chaos.” Those who don’t make meetings into exciting opportunities often make themselves victims. If you don’t want to be like that, here are a few ideas for making regular meetings into opportunities to grow your business.
You may have noticed that most of the conflicts in the workplace are not based on individual problems. Most of the time, they’re rooted in something larger: the company’s inability to meet goals or develop a weekly tactical plan. Weekly meetings can be predictable breeding grounds for resentment, which makes the company look irresponsible and unstable. You can avoid all that if you make sure that your meetings are always worth taking.
Meetings should always be exciting, although this depends on the type of meetings you’re having. The classic “sticky” issue that exists in most meetings is that they’re too boring. This problem is almost always solved by having a carefully planned contextual structure. Contextual structure helps the participants interact with one another in an informative and productive way that avoids conflict and boredom.
Here’s a simple example. Let’s say that you’re doing an analysis of the weaknesses of your sales force. To conduct this analysis, you need to know what kinds of weaknesses exist within each of your team members’ skills sets. By creating and monitoring a daily check-in session where you ask each team member to tell you about their skill set, you can easily determine which weaknesses exist. Then, you can assign one member of your team to improve these weaknesses weekly. This will create enough time for team members to bond and foster camaraderie.
Even more complicated scenarios involving several teams can benefit from a bit of contextual structure. Imagine this: there’s a dispute between two companies over a strategic decision. During a standard meeting, it might be easy for the team to come to some agreement. However, once the team reconvenes for daily check-in, things become much more complex. The result may be a battle that continues beyond the scheduled check-in – one team is continually trying to impose its will on the other.
In many cases, people do terrible meetings. They don’t hold their meetings up to the standard level of boring that you’d expect. You need to look for chaotic, impromptu meetings that serve no purpose other than to annoy you. These are the meetings that you might dread the most because they force you to deal with the worst aspects of the company. By replacing your bad meetings with productive, contextual meetings that foster teamwork, conflict resolution, and other positive aspects of a company, you can ensure that your company’s meetings turn out better.
Death By Meeting is a highly advanced guide that teaches you how to avoid the common pitfalls that plague most businesses. If you’re looking for an easier way to manage your entire organization, using the skills learned in this book will make doing business even easier. With Death By Meeting, you can stop being held hostage by having your meetings drag on forever and start working on building a more effective system instead.