a short description of the most important information about something
You need a well-functioning team, one that has the right mix of strengths and skills needed to move your operation forward. You know that you need to work well together. And, you know that it is so very easy to have meetings that:
- are so focused on the day-to-day struggles that you grow weary
- are so unfocused that you never get enough done
- in other words, your meetings are more draining than energizing…
The only thing that matters – the only thing – is results. Getting the right results is what matters – it is all that matters.
Good relationships; good working relationships; effective meetings… these are all in service to the end game – attaining the results you aim for.
But I would like to recommend a piece of the puzzle. There should be just a touch of team-building, team-nurturing, in practically every meeting – no matter what the exact purpose for each meeting is.
And one way to accomplish that is to have a discussion about a “bigger picture” topic. A guided conversation. A conversation that is prompted by input, and filled with valuable content.
How can one accomplish that effectively?
A number of companies have tried book clubs as one way to get at this. This is a good, noble idea. Wouldn’t it be great for everyone to be reading a good book; the same book?
But, from my observations and experience, that kind of book club is not all that long-lived. They start with good intentions. But the team members go from reading the books pretty carefully at the first such meeting, to skimming the books at later meetings, to barely glancing at the books as time goes along. And when you reach the “glancing at” stage, the meetings become another one of those “waste of time” meetings. (If you spend time looking at “book clubs at work” across the internet, you will find what appears to be a lot of “first meetings” mentioned).
But, the ideas in the book are still valuable, and much-needed.
Here are just a few “examples”:
Are you and your managers and supervisors treating your people well, in order for them to do their best work? The book Encouraging the Heart would be a valuable book to study.
Are there people in your organization who are not quite as productive as they need to be? The books Getting Things Done and The Power of Full Engagement would be good choices for a team session.
Do you have bad strategy (or no strategy)? Then the book Good Strategy, Bad Strategy could be useful to get you on track.
Do you have good strategy, but poor execution? Then the book Execution would be a must-read kind of book.
The list can go on and on. Your team needs to find a way to step back, think about some bigger issues, and have content-filled, content-prompted discussions about where to go next. Good books can help. But, how can you do this without expecting all of the folks to read the books in their entirety?
My suggestion – consider using our book synopses from 15minutebusinessbooks.com. Is this as good a solution as everyone reading the books in their entirety would be? No… but they won’t actually all read the books fully, will they?
But you could get the group together, listen to the audio of our presentations, with each following along with the comprehensive handouts that come with the audio recordings.
More than a summary, a little less than the “Reader’s Digest Condensed Version” (if you don’t recognize that reference, then you’re on the younger end of the spectrum), our synopses will give you valuable quotes, lessons and takeaways, and act as a great team-building, team-challenging, important-discussion-starting exercise for your team of leaders.
Give them a try. Every book I listed above, and many, many others, are available at 15minutebusinessbooks.com. You can purchase them one synopsis at a time, or buy a subscription for the entire collection of synopses.
(Our recordings average about 17 minutes. You can have a pretty good listening and then follow-up discussion session in about 25-30 minutes; then you can get to the rest of your “agenda” for your meeting).
(And, both Karl Krayer and I, Randy Mayeux, are available to lead your group in an extended-synopsis session, with facilitated discussion. Contact us for details).