making meeting matter book
Table of Contents:

CHAPTER ONE: What’s Going On?

CHAPTER TWO: Well-Designed Meetings Can Make a Difference

CHAPTER THREE: How Can You Design Meetings that Matter?

CHAPTER FOUR: Leading Meetings that Matter

CHAPTER FIVE: What is the Place Just Right?

CHAPTER SIX: What if Everyone is Somewhere Else?

CHAPTER SEVEN: Designing and Leading Extraordinary Meetings

CHAPTER EIGHT: Building a Constructive Conversational Culture

AFTERWORD: Continuing the Conversation

“Like most executives I spend most of my waking hours in meetings. With digital technology transforming the way we work, we desperately need to rethink how to make those meetings matter. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to lead more effective conversations.”

“Jim has written the field guide for making your job easier. More importantly, he shares what you need to know and do, to create an experience for your meeting attendees that will rock! Keep within arms’ reach at all times. You will be glad you did.”

“This is much more than a book about meetings. Jim Ware has shared his views on how work is evolving and uses his insight to challenge many of our traditional meeting practices. This book should be read by anyone who is frustrated by wasting time in pointless meetings – which is probably most of us!”

“Meetings are such a waste of time, and yet they offer so much potential that they deserve attention and analysis. Jim Ware goes beyond the typical agenda-setting and time-control issues to deal with the true basis for meetings. This is a must-read book.”

“Jim Ware’s wonderfully readable book is an eye opening study of how we work and collaborate today. He helps us understand how and why we got here and where we are going with respect to work and communication… The rules and tools he presents are great takeaways; there is great information in this book that will improve your performance and make every personal contact more productive.”

Decades of consulting have a given me the opportunity to observe hundreds, perhaps thousands, of meetings of every sort (decision, task and information).  I am constantly amazed at how few are truly effective and “enjoyable.”  Jim Ware has hit the heart of the issue with his Making Meetings Matter book and his overview presentation of key lessons for creating powerful and effective meetings (he calls them “conversations”).

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Discounts available for bulk orders: Contact Jim for details and to place an order for 25 or more copies.

From the Forward by Jim Horan:

The nature of conversation and communication has changed dramatically. We find ourselves communicating faster, more frequently, over greater distances, and with many more people. Yet we seem to be less effective.

Why is that so? Because of technology every business is now doing business globally; there are almost no meaningful geographic boundaries any more. Yes, there are still a few basically local businesses – the barbershop, the nail salon, the local farmers market. But almost everybody else is now doing business regionally, nationally, and internationally.

We are also starting up businesses at a much faster rate. There is an expectation that a business can go from startup to scale-up in a much shorter period of time.

What that really means is that organizations must build consensus and make decisions rapidly. When we think about meetings and how central they are to doing business in this global economy, we must align individual ideas and reach group decisions much more quickly than we have in the past. If we don’t our competitors will beat us in the marketplace.

And yet the habits and patterns we have developed about verbal dialogue are still stuck somewhere in the 1950s, 60s, and/or 70s. We’ve made all kinds of advances in the way we communicate with written words. We can email, we can text, we can tweet; we’ve figured out to do that with fewer words and characters, and much more rapidly….

From the Introduction:

We are in the middle of a fundamental revolution in the way we live, work, communicate, collaborate, and learn, and the workforce is voting with its feet. The economic recovery is presenting capable workers with more options, and they are taking advantage of them.

What’s going on? In this book I suggest that the way we live and work has changed so dramatically in the last twenty years that our basic leadership beliefs and practices are no longer appropriate. We have information and tools at our disposal that were unheard of, and even unimaginable, just a few decades ago.

But the way we are trying manage is still mired in nineteenth-century assumptions about people, technology, economic value, and social well-being. The dominant “Command and Control” mind-set of most executives is out of sync with the world as it now operates.

And that misalignment shows up most prominently in the millions of corporate meetings that take place every day. If you can learn to talk with your staff and colleagues more respectfully, more candidly, and with more curiosity, you will not only feel better about your work experiences, you will also learn more, be more creative, and generate more value for your customers and shareholders.

This book is dedicated to the proposition that no one individually is smarter than all of us together. In the digital age collaboration beats control; power – and impact – comes from being connected, and from orchestrating collaboration.