I've just finished the book Death By Meetings written by Patrick Lencioni. Its a non-fictional gem on how to run effective meetings in a company. The author took a nice approach by telling a fable about a company, Yip Software, and how they were driven to change their meeting style in order to survive; a compelling story that wasn't too contrived. The value of his approach was clearly stated and I bought into it right away. Probably not to any small degree because we're already doing most of it.
We have a five minute huddle every day with the department. We exchange a few pleasantries and dive into one minute updates on our work for the day, or what is creating a road block for the team. Every other week, we have tactical meetings that address short term goals for 60 to 90 minutes. The executive team has quarterly strategic meetings that allow the company to reaccess goals and what has changed in the market. The company has two day offsite meetings every 14 to 18 months too. I've been to three offsite meetings so far. They're great for letting your mind step back, take a broad context and dive into a passionate discussion about the business.
It was interesting to listen to a story that could have come directly from Pop Art. Our Chief Operating Officer, Tom Paul, has been an avid sponsor of this type of meeting approach for a while. This was my first book I've digested in this isle. I'm usually stuck by the tractor beam of the technical aisle. I feel our biweekly tactical meetings can use a bit more passionate debate, but we're pretty close on most of the points. If you haven't ventured down this aisle before, I thoroughly recommend this book. This book doesn't contain anything new; yet I find it very refreshing to periodically digest the fundamentals to keep me grounded. I'm sure several other books cover this topic well, so its kind of like 8th grade biology class. Its doesn't matter where you go to school, so long as you pass the class.