I didn’t actually read this one, I listened to it. What a great book. I hadn’t read anything by Lencioni before getting into Death by Meeting. Truth is, when books start getting kinda popular, I tend to shy away from them (sometimes I doubt the wisdom of the crowd (and I haven’t read that one either)). That inclination hasn’t paid off very well–I still haven’t read Good To Great, and I suspect I’m the poorer for it. It’s on my list now, though.
Anyway, back to Lencioni. I’d heard of his other books and I’d been staying away because of their popularity. That has apparently been a mistake. At the bare minimum, Lencioni is a great writer and Death by Meeting was enjoyable, purely on its merits as a “business novel.” However, Lencioni is also a great thinker and he has imparted some excellent insights into the madness behind how and why we run meetings and what can be done about it. His solution is a little counterintuitive, and even seems to be an affront to the title of the book. He says we should have more meetings, not fewer! He’s very specific about the kinds of meetings we should be having more of, though. He says that we should be breaking our meetings into a daily 5 minute check-in (hat tip to Rosa), a weekly tactical and a monthly strategic. He outlines the format and reasoning for each of these pretty thoroughly.
Overall, a great book and one that I’ve already evangelized throughout my organization. In fact, I just grabbed The Five Dysfunctions of a Team from my boss’s bookshelf. I’m blazing through it, and so far it’s living up to my expectations.