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No More Pointless Meetings

Book Description

Wasting time in pointless meetings....It’s the bane of work life—and the one thing that never seems to change. But meetings can be highly effective, says Martin Murphy, who has helped a “Who’s Who” of corporate clients transform timesapping meetings into “breakthrough sessions” that are truly productive. His strategy is not simply to speed them up or make them more palatable with flashier facilitation. Rather, the key is to upend the entire concept of meetings. That means throwing out traditional protocols and using one of four new collaboration models to get more done, faster than ever before. These sessions address: Issues management: identify, rank, and resolve issues—promoting critical concerns to Action Plan status • Problem solving: thirty-minute sessions for solving complex problems • Innovation: discover the billion-dollar idea that lurks in every organization • Strategic planning: stripped-down protocols for the kind of ongoing, realtime planning required in today’s fast-paced economy In an era when innovation and speed-to-market rule, No More Pointless Meetings leverages the creativity and knowledge of an organization’s people—a potent resource that conventional meetings ignore.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright
  4. Dedication
  5. Contents
  6. Chapter 1 Why Meetings Fail: Reframing Workflow Management
    1. Guiding Principles
      1. Separate Content and Process
      2. Why the Boss Shouldn’t Run Meetings
    2. The Issues Management Session
    3. The Innovation Session
    4. The Problem-Solving Session
    5. Ongoing Planning
    6. Entry Points
    7. Managing Yourself
    8. Structure of This Book
  7. Chapter 2 The Issues Management Session
    1. The Case Study
    2. The Issues Management Session
      1. Step One: Laying the Groundwork
      2. Step Two: Identify the Purpose of the Session
      3. Step Three: Surface All the Issues
      4. Step Four: Narrow the List to Critical Issues
      5. Step Five: List the Top Ten Critical Issues
      6. Step Six: Resolve the Issues or Move Them to Another Session
      7. Step Seven: Write the Action Plan
  8. Chapter 3 The Innovation Session
    1. The Case Study
    2. The Innovation Session
      1. Getting Started
      2. Information Gaps
      3. Clarify Session Purpose
      4. Phase One: Ideation
      5. Ask for More Ideas
      6. Phase Two: Building
      7. Phase Three: Evaluation
      8. Phase Four: The Action Plan
    3. Final Thoughts on the Innovation Session
  9. Chapter 4 The Problem-Solving Session
    1. When to Use the Problem-Solving Session
    2. The Case Study
    3. The Problem-Solving Session
      1. Step One: Laying the Groundwork
      2. Step Two: Identify the Problem
      3. Step Three: Reframe the Problem
      4. Step Four: Ask for Solutions
      5. Step Five: Expand the Search
      6. Step Six: The Action Plan
    4. Don’t Overdo It
  10. Chapter 5 The Ongoing Planning Process
    1. The Three Drivers of Ongoing Planning
      1. Innovative Collaboration Practices
      2. A Robust Planning Database
      3. Personal Workflow Planners
    2. An Operational Tool
    3. Organizational Learning
    4. A Strategic Mindset
    5. Zen and the Workflow Planner
    6. Effective Decision Making
    7. A Final Thought
  11. Chapter 6 One-on-One Sessions
    1. The One-on-One Issues Management Session
      1. Getting Started
      2. Displaying
      3. Identify Critical Issues
      4. Question Exercise
      5. Action Plan
      6. Return to Critical Issues
      7. Switch Roles
    2. The One-on-One Innovation Session
      1. Facilitating
      2. Speed
      3. Innovation Session Phases
      4. Phase One: Ideation
      5. Phase Two: Building
      6. Phase Three: Evaluation
      7. Phase Four: Action Plan
      8. Switch Roles
    3. The One-on-One Problem-Solving Session
      1. Facilitating
      2. Getting Started
      3. Process and Content
      4. Entry Points
      5. Pattern Recognition
      6. Clarify the Problem
      7. Verify or Reframe the Problem
      8. Solution Identified
      9. Question Exercise
      10. Check for Solutions
      11. Solution Identified
      12. Invisibility Exercise
      13. Ideation
      14. Check for Solutions
      15. Solution Identified
      16. Switch Roles
      17. Postsession Discussion
  12. Chapter 7 Solo Sessions
    1. The Solo Issues Management Session
      1. Getting Started
      2. Workflow Framing
    2. The Solo Innovation Session
      1. Phase One: Ideation
      2. Phase Two: Building
      3. Phase Three: Evaluation
    3. The Solo Problem-Solving Session
      1. Entry Points
      2. Information Gaps
      3. Question Exercise
      4. Getting Started
      5. Pattern Recognition
      6. What-If Exercise
      7. Solution Identified
      8. Ideation Exercise
  13. Chapter 8 Making It Happen
    1. Reminders
      1. Lead by Example
      2. Validate
      3. Expect Success
      4. Always Be Asking
      5. Handle the Chaos
      6. Stay Tuned In
      7. Clarify Instructions
      8. Maintain Speed
      9. Refrain from Judging
      10. Free Their Minds
      11. Restrict Discussion
      12. Encourage Laughter
      13. Maintain Control
      14. Know When to Wait
      15. Aim for Fluidity
      16. Stand Up
      17. Throw a Change-Up
      18. Show, Don’t Tell
      19. Circulate
      20. Don’t Comment
    2. Ideation Exercises
      1. Mind-Reading Exercise
      2. Genie Exercise: Round 1
      3. Genie Exercise: Round 2
      4. Flying Exercise: Round 1
      5. Flying Exercise: Round 2
      6. “No One Can See Me” Exercise
      7. Swapping Exercise: Round 1
      8. Swapping Exercise: Round 2
      9. Trillion Dollars Exercise: Round 1
      10. Trillion Dollars Exercise: Round 2
      11. Trillion Dollars Exercise: Round 3
      12. Know-It-All Exercise: Round 1
      13. Know-It-All Exercise: Round 2
      14. Interconnectivity Exercise: Round 1
      15. Interconnectivity Exercise: Round 2
      16. True or False Exercise
      17. Big Question Exercise
      18. Small Question Exercise
      19. Ask the Group
      20. Pairs Exercise
    3. How to Do It Yourself
  14. Final Thoughts
  15. Appendix 1 Group Session Guides
  16. Appendix 2 One-on-One Session Guides
  17. Appendix 3 Solo Session Guides
  18. Index