My short review of “Death by Meeting”, by Patrick Lencioni.

Death by Meeting — Patrick Lencioni Death by Meeting — Patrick Lencioni

In the more than ten years since I started working, I’ve been to so many meetings I cannot even imagine counting. And there have been many times I’ve heard colleagues say a meeting was boring and they had wasted time they could have spent doing real work. I’ve said that myself a couple of times, to be honest. After a while, some would even imply all meetings are useless1, which is sad, both considering meetings can be costly and finishing a meeting bored or tired often means not doing much after.

At the beginning of this book, we find ourselves in a company where meetings are useless, boring, not solving anything – and having a negative effect on everyone who see their bosses go in a room every week and never come back with anything significant or any kind of meaningful decision.

As the story progresses, we see how this one meeting evolves into a few distinct ones, each with their own separate objectives. We also read how allowing and even encouraging conflict leads to meaningful discussions – and meetings.

35 I agree with the principle meetings can be useful – if done right – so I liked where this book is going. The way it’s written makes it easy to read, a bit like a story and I almost found myself rooting for the hero a couple of times2. The young assistant feels a bit too much and it’s hard to believe how good and mature he is. Too bad this book only focuses on one kind of meeting (staff meeting between executives) and not several kinds (including between other kind of employees).

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  1. I strongly disagree with this idea, BTW – maybe it’s one of the reasons that caused me to buy this book ;-) [return]
  2. Like wondering “Is he going to keep his job?”. [return]