No More Pointless Meetings

Breakthrough Sessions That Will Revolutionize the Way You Work

 No More Pointless Meetings

Author: Martin Murphy
Pub Date: October 2012
Print Edition: $17.95
Print ISBN: 9780814431689
Page Count: 240
Format: Paper or Softback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814431696

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Excerpt

Chapter 1 WHY MEETINGS FAIL: REFRAMING WORKFLOW MANAGEMENT

This book will convince you that in the digital age, conven-

tional meetings are obsolete, and when compared to

advances in other areas of organizational management,

the current art of human collaboration seems archaic. It

needn’t be.

I can walk into any conference room cold, without any

prior knowledge of the organization or the meeting that is

about to begin, and lead it in a manner that gets more done

in a shorter period of time than anyone in the room has

ever experienced. The get-together can be with the board of

directors, top executives, departmental managers, supervisors,

team leaders, or any mix of people and disciplines; it

doesn’t matter: I get superior results every time I facilitate

a collaborative event—because I don’t use meetings for collab-

oration.

At its most elemental, this book is intended to provide

managers and supervisors who currently conduct meetings

with a transformative alternative they can use immediately

to get more done in less time. In addition, it provides them

with workfl ow management tools to access and leverage the

cognitive and creative capabilities of the individuals who

report to them in a manner that creates value for employees,

consumers, and stakeholders.

Meetings have survived as the primary collaborative

process because it is assumed that an individual, once

promoted to a leadership position, already knows how to

effectively leverage human capital. The facts don’t support

this—all of us still get trapped in meetings that squander

time we’ll never recover. While the number and complexity

of issues that require resolution accelerates, unsatisfactory

meeting outcomes are still an everyday event. Before we get

into detailed instruction for the workfl ow management protocols

you’re about to be introduced to, it will help to take

a look at how we currently collaborate within organizations.

For most executives, managers, and supervisors, the

meeting is the only work management tool they’ve ever used

for collaboration. The drill is ingrained: Everyone gathers in

a conference room, and the most senior executive both conducts

and participates in the meeting at the same time. This

wasteful collaborative ritual takes place millions of times

daily in organizations around the globe. And, while its short-

comings are acknowledged, it has been the principal means

for collaboration over the course of many generations.

Granted, we now have distance conferencing capabilities,

but digital conferencing platforms are basically delivery

vehicles—their ultimate effectiveness as a collaborative

tool is dependent upon users having the ability to leverage

the intellectual and creative potential of the individuals par-

ticipating in the dialogue.

If managers are doing a poor job of collaborating in

person-to-person gatherings—and be assured that they

are—digital collaborative performance will be even less

effective. Right now, this reality is overshadowed by excitement

over the diversity of impressive delivery vehicles and

platforms for distance conferencing. That excitement will

prove hollow unless we also upgrade the human element of

the collaborative equation.

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