Eight Powerful Strategies to Fix Your Meetings

Meetings are at the heart of effective organizations. Each meeting is an opportunity to clarify issues, set direction, sharpen focus, create alignment, and move ambitions forward. We have to change the way we think about meetings, the way we design and lead them, and, most importantly, how we manage what happens between meetings.

Paul Axtell offers eight powerful strategies for fixing our meeting problems, and within each strategy, he provides concrete advice you can put into action immediately such as limiting participants, being vigilant about what gets on the agenda, designing the conversation for each agenda item, and managing the experience for everyone in the room so people leave feeling heard and appreciated.

Here are the eight strategies:

  1. Choose the perspective: This Matters.
  2. Master effective conversations.
  3. Create supportive relationships.
  4. Decide what matters and who cares.
  5. Design each conversation.
  6. Lead meetings for three outcomes.
  7. Participate in meetings to add impact.
  8. Build remarkable groups.

If you’re struggling with making your meetings productive and powerful, then join us on April 28th for our Soundview Live webinar with Paul Axtell: Eight Powerful Strategies to Fix Your Meetings. Bring your team together for the webinar and post your questions for Paul during the session.

Real Solutions for a Troubled Economic System

Philip Kotler is widely acknowledged as the father of modern marketing and the world’s foremost expert on strategic marketing. He was voted the first Leader in Marketing Thought by the American Marketing Association and named The Founder of Modern Marketing Management in the Handbook of Management Thinking.

So why would this marketing guru write a book on capitalism? Here are his reasons in his own words:

First, I want to understand it myself.

Second, I believe capitalism is better than any other system.

Third, I want to examine and propose solutions to each of the fourteen shortcomings that would help make capitalism perform better and benefit more people.

Fourth, many readers want a shorter book on capitalism to get their thinking started.

Fifth, I believe that my background provides an opportunity to develop some special insights into the workings of capitalism.

So what are these fourteen shortcomings that Kotler refers to? Capitalism –

  1. Proposes little or no solution to persisting poverty.
  2. Generates a growing level of income and wealth inequality.
  3. Fails to pay a living wage to billions of workers.
  4. May not provide enough human jobs in the face of growing automation.
  5. Doesn’t charge businesses with the full social costs of their activities.
  6. Exploits the environment and natural resources in the absence of regulation.
  7. Creates business cycles and economic instability.
  8. Emphasizes individualism and self-interest at the expense of community and the commons.
  9. Encourages high consumer debt and leads to a growing financially-driven rather than producer-driven economy,
  10. Lets politicians and business interests collaborate to subvert the economic interests of the majority of citizens.
  11. Favors short-run profit planning over long-run investment planning.
  12. Should have regulations regarding product quality, safety, truth in advertising, and anticompetitive behavior.
  13. Tends to focus narrowly on GDP growth.
  14. Needs to bring social values and happiness into the market equation.

This is quite a list of shortcomings, and yet Kotler believes that capitalism is the best system out there! So what does he offer for solutions to this broken economic system? Join us on April 21st and hear for yourself, as we have invited Philip Kotler to our next Soundview Live webinar, Confronting Capitalism: Real Solutions for a Troubled Economic System. It’s sure to be an exciting and perhaps controversial discussion.

The Revolution That’s Transforming Everything

“By one estimate, 90 percent of all of the data in history was created in the last two years. In 2014, International Data Corporation calculated the data universe at 4.4 zettabytes, or 4.4 trillion gigabytes. That much information, in volume, could fill enough slender iPad Air tablets to create a stack two-thirds of the way to the moon. Now, that’s big data.”  Steve Lohr

Steve Lohr has covered technology, business, and economics for the New York Times for more than twenty years and writes for the Times’ Bits blog. In 2013 he was part of the team awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting. He was a foreign correspondent for a decade and served as an editor, and has written for national publications such as the New York Times Magazine, the Atlantic, and the Washington Monthly. He is the author of Go To: The Story of the Math Majors, Bridge Players, Engineers, Chess Wizards, Maverick Scientists, and Iconoclasts—the Programmers Who Created the Software Revolution. He lives in New York City.

In his book Data-ism, Lohr makes several claims about the explosion of data:

  • That Big Data is the next phase, in which vast, Internet-scale data sets are used for discovery and prediction in virtually every field.
  • That this new revolution will change the way decisions are made.
  • That relying more on data and analysis, and less on intuition and experience, can transform the nature of leadership and management.

In our upcoming Soundview Live webinar, The Revolution That’s Transforming Everything, Steve Lohr explains how individuals and institutions will need to exploit, protect, and manage their data to stay competitive in the coming years. Filled with rich examples and anecdotes of the various ways in which the rise of Big Data is affecting everyday life, it raises provocative questions about policy and practice that have wide implications for all of our lives.

Join us on April 16th to learn how big data affects your business decision making, and post your questions for Steve during the webinar.

What Is Self-Reliant Leadership

“Self-Reliant Leadership is synonymous with knowing which questions to ask yourself and having the courage to answer them and act.” Jan Rutherford

In Rutherford’s book The Littlest Green Beret, he tells the story of making it in Special Forces in spite of his young age (17) and small stature (5′ 4 1/2″). He teaches that self-reliant leadership requires three mutually supporting concepts:

1. Self-Awareness: Leaders understand their strengths and short-comings and how those traits affect their ability to create willing followers.

2. Selflessness: A leader needs to have a steadfast passion for serving others, and that requires putting others first.

3. Self-Reliance: Leading means being out front and there are more naysayers than supporters when trailblazing. Self-Reliant leaders believe in leading by example to develop followers who have initiative, persistence and determination.

If your goal is to become a self-reliant leader, then you’ll want to join us on April 9th to hear Jan Rutherford tell the stories of how he learned self-reliance as he moved up the ranks in Special Forces. Register for Self-Reliant Leadership: Embracing Adversity as the Crucible to Strengthen Character and Culture today.

Creating Urgency in a Nanosecond Culture

“The only way to ensure your company’s success is to change faster on the inside than the world is changing on the outside.” Jason Jennings

Jennings and his researchers have spent years up close and personal with thousands of organizations around the world—figuring out what makes them successful in both the short and long term. He understands the real challenges that keep more than eleven thousand CEOs, business owners, and executives up at night. And he knows how the best of the best combine speed and growth to deliver five times the average returns to shareholders.

In The High-Speed Company, Jennings reveals the unique practices of businesses that have proven records of urgency and growth. The key distinction is that they’ve created extraordinary cultures with a strong purpose, more trust, and relentless follow-through. These companies burn less energy, beat the competition, and have a lot of fun along the way.

Jennings strategies include:

  • Encouraging employees to make the right moves without hesitation. J.M. Smucker has done this well by creating five guiding principles that employees at every level can apply to faster individual decision making.
  • Doing more to constantly innovate and bring in new customers. Besides spending more than $2 billion on research and development, Procter & Gamble sends its senior executives to the homes of families who use their products in one hundred different countries, to learn their stories and connect with them, gaining fresh insights for new products.
  • Being transparent about management decisions. Sonic Corp. knows this is the best way to drive trust and engagement with both employees and customers.

We’ve invited Jennings to join us on April 2nd for our Soundview Live webinar How to Create Urgency & Growth in a Nanosecond Culture. Please join us for this event and consider inviting your colleagues to listen in as well.