"Let’s stop meeting like this" by Dick & Emily Axelrod  

  • By The Alchemist About Town
  • 02 Aug, 2016

Bits and bobs

Pic from brucerosenstein.
People usually dislike meetings. Often, meetings only waste time and build frustration. Multiply the number of your company’s meetings times the number of participants times their pro-rata hourly pay to discover the hidden financial cost of ineffective work sessions. Yet organisations need their people to confer or need to hold meetings to unite a team or fulfil a specific goal.


Take-Aways from the book

  • Many meetings are a waste of time. However, a well planned, well-executed meeting can be effective and useful.
  • If employees need to share information in person and that requires dialogue, then you need to schedule a meeting.
  • Invite people with specific knowledge, a role in the issue or decision-making authority.
  • Before each meeting, know why you’re holding it, how it will be different, who needs to come and how to inspire attendees to take ownership of its goals.
  • Use the six elements of the “meeting canoe: welcome, connect, discover, elicit, decide and attend.” This helps people feel engaged, challenged, informed and able to set a course of action.
  • Good meetings give people “autonomy, meaning, challenge, learning” and “feedback.”
  • If a session goes awry, “say the unspoken” and name the problem. Ask if everyone perceives the same dilemma, and find out what they “want to do about it.”
  • Good meetings provide value. They can energise employees to do meaningful work, enable timely decisions, build teams and address pressing issues.

Do people need to share important information? Does sharing this information require dialogue?

If the answer is yes on both counts, you need a meeting.

To help meetings go well, attend to the basics , answer the following five questions:

“Why are we meeting?” – No matter what the format – a staff brainstorming, work session, town hall, “major change initiative” or informal chat – align with your organisational needs. Meetings should always involve “work worth doing.”

“What do we want to be different because this group of people meets?” – A conference must have a specific purpose, for example, training the participants, communicating essential company information, planning strategy, and so on. Purpose is the North Star of your meeting. Align the length of your gathering with its purpose.

“Who needs to be in our crew?” – For successful sessions, bring in the right assortment of people with a productive mix of assets and capabilities, including “information, authority, responsibility” and “different thinking styles.” To avoid group think, include at least one contrarian.

“How do we get people to take ownership of the meeting?” – Have attendees participate in the design of your meetings. Ensure that the agenda fits “the culture and the participants’ needs.”

“Where and how long will we meet?” – A gathering’s environment affects its success. Whenever possible, try to arrange “round tables, plenty of wall space, whiteboards and natural light.”


Leaders, contributors and facilitators make some common mistakes and may find that their personal shortcomings and beliefs contribute to meeting failure:

Leaders – Managers go wrong when they develop an agenda without input from other attendees, are too unsure of themselves to open their planning to others’ opinions and manipulate their meetings  “through false participation” – that is, valuing self-interest over the session’s actual purpose.

Contributors – Experts fail when they don’t assume ownership of their gatherings, expect the leaders to fix any problems that develop during the sessions, place self-interest above the group’s concerns, or aren’t properly prepared and therefore can’t make a positive contribution.

Facilitators – Just because you’re running the meeting, don’t make the mistake of taking over and performing work that the group should handle. Never assume your special management “magic” can fix any problem.

Employee involvement specialists Dick and Emily Axelrod offer worthwhile strategies and methods to make meetings more effective. Overall, they provide quotations and useful, hands-on information covering planning, designing, facilitating and leading group sessions. Try it and let me know your thoughts.

The People Alchemist Blog

By The Alchemist About Town 22 Sep, 2017
I am so utterly delighted that my book is now out, available to order both on paperback and on Kindle edition just in time for Business Women's Day - YES!!!!!! :-) 

STOP IT! It's all in your head   is my labour of love and my way to encourage, inspire and empower women to achieve what they want professionally and not be confined by societal, religious, family paradigms of what " women should do/are like" and, most importantly, the restrictions in their head.
If that is being CEO of a Global Company or a stay-at-mum or Director of Paperclip ( whatever grabs your fancy) so be it.

Writing this book was also a personal challenge ( the 30 days thingy) which confirmed to me once and for all that you can really do whatever you set your mind to, if you really want to that is.

Couple of tips for writing a book from me:
  • write about what you are passionate about, you know more than you think.
  • free-write about the parts/chapters in the book you like the most and you are most interested in first - that will give you a great boost at the beginning - you can edit and add the boring bits later - by then most of the book will be almost there
  • keep your own voice - write as you speak so to speak ( people do need to understand you though..)
  • keep an open mind, ideas will flow into you mid-way through the project
  • a deadline and going public is good to beat procrastination ( but if that stresses you out too much don't do it) - the deadline certainly helped me.
You can do it too!!!

If anyone would like to be part of the book launch, the event is live on Eventbrite and you can buy an Early Bird ticket now:
SMASH YOUR CEILING - #STOPITBookLaunch 
Thursday 12 October at 18.30
Business Design Centre
Islington
London

To pre- e-meet other super fab women in business attending the event, please use the following hashtags:
#SMASHYOURCEILING
#STOPITBookLaunch
#BDCWorks

I'm so excited about this book and I genuinely hope you will like it- I hope to meet you soon, in person or through the pages of my book.

Laura x


#Hustle #GirlBoss #SmashThatCeiling
  #SmashYourCeiling
STOP IT! It's all in your head 
#dreambig #believe #youcan



By The Alchemist About Town 19 Sep, 2017
The time is getting closer and closer to the release of   STOP IT, It's all in your head   my new book ( 22 September for Business Women's Day - US) .

I have now  received the proof copy of the paperback which looks absolutely fabulous: a couple of things to correct but overall I am super happy with the result.
A lot of marketing to do now between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ ( which is PS: looking like more work than the actual writing of the book).

The book event/launch/talk is live on Eventbrite and you can buy an Early Bird ticket now:
SMASH YOUR CEILING - #STOPITBookLaunch 
Thursday 12 October at 18.30
Business Design Centre
Islington
London

To pre- e-meet other super fab women in business attending the event, please use the following hashtags:
#SMASHYOURCEILING
#STOPITBookLaunch
#BDCWorks

I'm so excited about this book and I genuinely hope you will like it.

Laura x


#Hustle #GirlBoss #SmashThatCeiling
  #SmashYourCeiling
STOP IT! It's all in your head 
#dreambig #believe #youcan



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