Patrick Lencioni’s Death by Meeting is, as Brad advertised, a great read, and much in line with his other books (running list at the end of the post). His books are just like candy. If only all business books were this short and easy to read.
This fable isn’t quite what I thought it was going to be at the outset – it’s not about too many meetings, which is what I’ve always called “death by meeting.” It’s about staff meetings that bore you to death. With a great story around them featuring characters named Casey and Will (my two oldest kids’ names, which had me chuckling the whole time), Lencioni describes a great framework for splitting up your staff meetings into four different types of meetings: the daily stand-up, the weekly tactical, the monthly strategic, and the quarterly offsite.
There’s definitely something to the framework. We have over the years done all four types of meetings, though we never had all four in our rotation at once as that felt like overkill. But I think at a minimum, any 2 get the job done much better than a single format recurring meeting. As long as you figure out how to separate status updates from more strategic conversations, you’re directionally in good shape. We have almost entirely eliminated or automated status update meetings at this point at my staff level.
The book has some other good stuff in it, though, about the role of conflict in staff meetings, which I’ll save for your own read of the book!
So far the series includes: