Death by Meeting by Patrick Lencioni

If you haven’t come across Lencioni’s books before, I can tell you, they are not like the usual popular business books.

For one they are so readable. Written as a story, with a plot and fictional characters, they stand out in a field full of text books, only broken up by different fonts and text boxes.  In Death by Meeting you are easily drawn from chapter to chapter, as the story is played out and the characters develop – so you actually want to read to the end!

It is such a refreshing way to read about problems that are so familiar in the business world – the unproductive, unfocused and frankly boring meetings. The author tackles the problem head on and presents practical solutions: bringing purpose, interest and productivity to the table. There are lessons that you can apply to your business or department that will help it to function more effectively and improve performance.

Lencioni understands how well we respond to stories and the drama that unfolds in them. He uses this to both sell his message, through the structure of the book, and to banish the too-common phenomena that is death by meetings.

What I especially like, is that the story is followed by a summary of the model he is proposing. The combination of fable and the more traditional summary – means that you remember the first but can quickly look up the detail you need in the second, without trawling through the whole book. It is one I definitely would recommend.

See also The Five Disfunctions of a Team, written in the same style by Patrick Lencioni