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The Death by Meeting


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Table of Contents

Introduction vii

The Fable 1

Preview 3

Part One: Flashback 5

Part Two: Plot Point 19

Part Three: Protagonist 53

Part Four: Action 69

Part Five: Resolution 173

The Model 219

The Paradox of Meetings 221

Executive Summary 223

Problem #1: Lack of Drama 226

Problem #2: Lack of Contextual Structure 233

The Biggest Challenge of All: "The Myth of Too Many Meetings" 250

A Final Thought on Meetings 253

The Weekly Tactical Meeting Guide 254

Acknowledgments 255

About the Author 259

About the Author

PATRICK LENCIONI is founder and president of The Table Group, a management consulting firm specializing in executive team development and organizational health. As a consultant and keynote speaker, he has worked with thousands of senior executives in organizations ranging from Fortune 500s and high-tech start-ups to universities and nonprofits. He is the author of numerous nationally recognized books, including the New York Times best-seller The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. To learn more about Patrick Lencioni and his other products and services including his newsletter and free resources please visit www.tablegroup.com.


The business meeting-a necessary evil or a vital and invigorating component of running an organization? According to management consultant Lencioni (The Five Temptations of a CEO), meetings should fit the latter description, but more often than not, he says, they don't. In this lackluster audio fable, Lencioni offers practical advice on how to revitalize your business by energizing your business meetings, but his pallid, passive prose would challenge the most skilled narrator, and Arthur is no exception. The voice Arthur lends Will, the young hero of this tale, resembles that of Sesame Street's Ernie on downers, and the various inflections he gives business owner Casey McDaniel and his management team don't make up for the characters' lack of character. Nevertheless, Lencioni's message comes across loud and clear-meetings should be interactive, not passive, and they should be structured (i.e., issues of immediate importance should be discussed in "weekly tactical" meetings, and issues that will fundamentally affect the business should be addressed in "monthly strategic" meetings). Although managers will find this advice worthwhile, they would gather just as much if they skipped the sluggish fable and listened to the last few tracks. Simultaneous release with the Wiley hardcover. (Mar.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

"...a work of fiction with important messages for management" (Leadership & Organisational Development Journal)

"The author is something of a master of the modern fable...." (Professional Manager, Vol.13, No.6, November 2004)

"...pitches his theory neatly at busy readers by opening with an executive summary." (Supply Management, 8 July 2004)

"Highly recommended: you could even take it to your next meeting." (On Target, September 2007)

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