Meetings That Get Results Book Summary - Meetings That Get Results Book explained in key points
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Meetings That Get Results summary

Terrence Metz

A Facilitator's Guide to Building Better Meetings

4.2 (188 ratings)
18 mins
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    Meetings That Get Results
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    Effective leaders aren’t autocrats – they’re conductors.

    Today's world is highly interconnected and diffuse – much more so than it was in the past. This has changed the way we think about leadership and expertise.

    Before the industrial age, expertise was localized. A farmer, for example, knew a great deal about a small part of the world – his land. Leaders gathered and preserved such patchwork knowledge, making them stewards. Later, with industrialization, they became managers. They possessed specialized knowledge about the complex technical processes that made the world run and told everyone else what to do. 

    The digital age is different. Expertise is widely diffused and easy to access, but it can’t be stored in a single library or mind – it’s in the “cloud.” 

    That’s changed leaders’ roles. They’re no longer in the business of bossing other people around; their job is to help experts work together. In other words, they’re facilitators

    The key message here is: Effective leaders aren’t autocrats – they’re conductors. 

    The workplace has changed a lot over the last quarter-century. 

    In the late twentieth century, organizations were rigid hierarchies. At the top was the autocratic manager. His commands were relayed from one subordinate down to the next. 

    But now the emphasis has shifted: self-managing teams, it turns out, achieve more than individuals carrying out detailed instructions issued from on high. 

    Leadership is still vital, of course, but the role of leaders has also changed. 

    They’re no longer expected to micromanage every aspect of work processes. Instead, they facilitate the work of experts and help teams chart their own course toward organizational goals. They delegate for the same reason people go to hairdressers. You could cut your own hair, but the results are better when a professional is handling the scissors. In organizations, the best results come when leaders let the experts – their teams – do the trimming. 

    Of course, hair salons are much simpler operations than most companies: usually, folks make do with a single stylist. Organizations, by contrast, have to align dozens of teams, departments, and experts. 

    That alignment happens in meetings, which brings us back to this new breed of leaders. They don’t have all the answers, but they do take command of the questions. A bad meeting is a chaotic free-for-all that leads nowhere – in short, it’s a dissonant mess. A good meeting, on the other hand, is like a harmonious concerto. Individual instruments play their way through a piece with a distinct beginning, middle, and end. Leaders, meanwhile, are like conductors – they guide this collaborative effort. 

    And that’s the art of facilitation. So how’s it done? Let’s find out! 

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    What is Meetings That Get Results about?

    Meetings That Get Results (2021) is a practical guide to the art of running more effective and efficient meetings. Designed for leaders tasked with facilitating meetings and group discussions, it emphasizes collaborative approaches to decision-making and problem-solving. 

    Who should read Meetings That Get Results?

    • Leaders and organizers 
    • Tinkerers and optimizers 
    • Team players

    About the Author

    Terrence Metz is the managing director of MG RUSH Facilitation Training and Coaching, an organization that helps leaders get the most out of meetings. He is the author of the monthly facilitation blog Best Practices, and has worked with Agilists, Scrum teams, product and project managers, and senior officers around the world. 

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