Making Meetings Matter: New Rules and Cool Tools for Corporate Conversations in the Digital Age


I may be celebrating prematurely, but permit me just a bit of shameless self-promotion.

As I have mentioned many times previously, I’ve been working for the past year on this book about corporate conversations and, in particular, the settings in which most conversations take place: formal meetings.

The book is now in the hands of my publisher, Henry DeVries of Indie Books International; it’s due to be published in early January 2016. I can’t wait!

There’s lots of work still to do to make the book worthy of your attention, but I’m now concentrating on the second big job any author has: creating “buzz” and visibility. Writing the book is challenging enough, but getting the word out about it is just as important.

I’m going to be very upfront and open about that process, because I’m learning as I go, and I have this core belief that you will find the process as interesting as I do. I hope I’m right!

I have already created a basic website: It will grow and evolve as we get closer to January. In fact, I intend to make the website a forum for sharing stories and lessons about improving the way we design and lead meetings of all kinds.

I’ve also set up a Twitter account: @makngmtgsmatter (please follow me there!). And I’m working on a private Facebook page and coaching program. More on that in the near future.

Here’s the current Table of Contents for Making Meetings Matter:

  1. What’s Going On?
  2. Well-Designed Meetings Can Make a Difference
  3. Designing Meetings That Matter
  4. Leading Meetings that Matter
  5. What is the Place Just Right?
  6. What if Everyone is Somewhere Else?
  7. How Can You Create Extraordinary Meetings?
  8. Building a Constructive Conversational Culture
  9. Continuing the Conversation
  10. Resources and Notes

I am well aware that the content and flow of the book will evolve as I work with Henry DeVries and his editorial team to polish the rough manuscript I submitted a couple of weeks ago. And if you’ve been reading these weekly posts on a regular basis, you’ve already absorbed many of the New Rules and some of the Cool Tools that fill the book.

And just to give you a sense of why I wrote the book, here is a brief excerpt from the Introduction (I consider this sneak peek as the equivalent of a trailer for a Hollywood movie):

If you are like most of us, you spend way too much time in bad meetings and other conversations at work that go nowhere.

How long has it been since you were in a meeting you felt was totally unproductive? Have you ever wished you had a Star Trek pocket communicator you could command to “Beam me up, Scotty” just to get away from yet another meaningless meeting? How long has it been since you led a meeting like that?

Be honest; it’s happened to every one of us.

Do you spend time in meetings thinking about the “real work” you are not getting done, or holding your smartphone in your lap and sneaking a peek at your email inbox to see what’s going on out there in the real world? Or have you ever sent a surreptitious text asking a colleague to call you out of a meeting for some fake crisis or phone call from a “client” that just can’t wait?

Well, I’ve got a simple message for you: it doesn’t have to be that way.

This book is dedicated to the proposition that meetings can be fun, meaningful, and productive – all at the same time.

Here’s why that is so important.

Not only has the world changed in the last twenty years, but the nature of work itself has changed too. Yet many organizations are still operating as if their employees just came from the farm to the city and need to be told what to do as they take their place on the assembly line. We’re still applying 19th-century industrial-age management practices in a 21st-century age of networked knowledge.

As a result, millions of people are unhappy at work, organizations are operating well below their potential, leaders like you are frustrated, and almost everyone feels stressed out. In spite of the recent uptick in the economy, no one I know believes things are working the way they should be.

Does that make you want to read the book, or work directly with me to make corporate meetings and other conversations both fun and functional once again?

Contact me today for a free 30-minute conversation about how you can make your own meetings fun, functional, and productive. Or download this brief overview of my new service offering for making meetings matter.