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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Book Review of "Let’s Stop Meeting Like This: Tools to Save Time and Get More Done"

Author: Dick and Emily Axelrod
Title: Let’s Stop Meeting Like This: Tools to Save Time and Get More Done
Narrator: Wes Bleed
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Length of Production: 3 discs/2 hours: 58 minutes
Year of Publication: 2014

In the great world of American business, it seems that corporations are in love with meetings.  Perhaps you can identify with humor columnist Dave Barry who opined, “If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be ‘meetings.’” 

To combat the stiffness of horrific meetings, Dick and Emily Axelrod have produced a quality audiobook in Let’s Stop Meeting Like This. In this work, they present “The Meeting Canoe,” which provides a fitting analogy of the overall shape that a meeting should take.  The components of an effective meeting include:
·         Welcome people
·         Connect people to each other and to the task
·         Discover the way things are
·         Elicit people's dreams (regardless of the reality)
·         Decide
·         Attend to the end
While the revelation is not revolutionary, it is packaged in a delightful way that provides a call to action for participants to be agents of change in meetings. When you are involved in a meeting you are either an investor, beneficiary, or bystander. Littering the narrative with real examples culled from a variety of industries, the authors are to be commended for providing practical advice which can be immediately employed in the reader’s situation.

The cadence of the audiobook moves along at an appropriate pace and the narrator, Wes Bleed, has the type of voice that makes you want to listen to the presentation. Unfortunately, there is too much reference to tables from the printed version which makes following the idea presented a little spotty in places. Similarly, the authors inserted a character, Clock Man, who’s objective is to be antagonistic to the thesis presented. Early in the production, Mr. Bleed has difficulty differentiating the character which gets better in the middle. Sadly, the introduction of the character does not add to the publication – it felt too much like a contrived, forced antithesis.

If you feel that the meetings you are enduring, or running, need a boost, you should listen to this audiobook…then, recommend your boss does the same.