Read this before our next meeting, by Al Pittampalli

Whenever the words “free book” come anywhere close to my brain’s receptors, I twitch. And if the book in question is somehow relevant or interesting, then my reflexes take whatever action is required to acquire a copy. A free copy. It’s how I roll.

In this case, I found myself at the front end of a one-week opportunity to download a free copy of Read This Before Our Next Meeting, by Al Pittampalli. It took me until today to put everything in my world onto the teetering stack of the back-burner in order to read this book. I’m not sure why I gave this book priority but it turns out that tomorrow is the last day to get a free copy (kindle format) so I’m making this post a priority. If you or anyone you know is a victim of Corporate America’s love of meetings, this book should be taken under advisement.

“In a world without mediocre meetings, we’d be forced to make and defend difficult decisions.” This caught my attention immediately. Pittampalli goes on to explain why mediocre meetings are sucking the life out of organizations. On the flip side, he paints a lovely view of an environment in which Modern Meetings are well-planned and well-managed, and in which the participants are held accountable. Not a bad world to live in.

There are 7 Principles to expect in experiencing a Modern Meeting:

  1. Agenda should support a decision that is already made (conflict or coordination)
  2. Start on time, move fast and end on schedule (or early)
  3. Limit the attendees
  4. Reject the unprepared
  5. Produce committed action plans
  6. NOT informational
  7. Works with anti-meetings (brainstorming sessions)

There is also a great section on making the decisions that necessitate the meeting.

I’m still digesting all that I read, and I’m trying to figure out how to help evangelize change in the large company that my small company nests within. But, given sound of the clock ticking away the remaining seconds of the “free” status of the kindle version of this book, I made the decision to share this review sooner rather than later.

I’ll be back with updates providing real-life examples of how this manifesto altered my environment.

About Fran Hart

Disciple of Christ, earning a living as the director of US-based operations for a Taiwanese company, managing an engineering organization while carving out time to write. Wife, Mother, Grandmother.
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