A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results –– Without Losing Your Soul

Winning Well by Karin Hurt and David Dye

It can feel like a rigged game. Executives set aggressive goals, so managers drive their teams to burnout trying to deliver. Or, employees seek connection and support, so managers focus on relationships . . . and fail to make the numbers. The fallout is stress, frustration and disengagement, and not just among team members –– two-thirds of managers report being disengaged. To succeed, managers cannot choose between results and relationships. They need both: They must get people to achieve while creating an environment that makes them truly want to.

Winning Well offers managers a quick, practical action plan. They will learn how to stamp out the corrosive win-at-all-costs mentality; focus on the game, not just the score; reinforce behaviors that produce results; sustain energy and momentum; correct poor performance without drama; build productive relationships; and be the leader people want to work for. Today’s hypercompetitive economy has created tense, overextended workplaces. Keep it productive, rewarding and even fun with this one-stop success kit.

• Why Winning Well doesn’t mean perfection.
• Why you should emphasize behaviors, not the metrics scorecard.
• The four principles of managers who win well.
• How to lead meetings and make decisions that inspire your team.
• To help your team solve problems, double productivity and own their results.


A Transformational Capability, Hidden in Plain Sight

This guest blog features Karl Danskin and Lenny Lind, authors of Virtuous Meetings.

Large group meetings aren’t what they used to be.  In the last 10 years, the most fundamental aspect of meetings has transformed: the role of the participant. A revolution in organizational capability and effectiveness has occurred, hidden in plain sight. What only became possible around 2005, will be commonplace in 2025.

Along with the internet and interactive websites and media and now “social media” came the ability and expectation of giving one’s feedback – having one’s say.  During the same time, internet input devices became ubiquitous. So reading and then writing in response to one’s world has become commonplace.

Within the context of meetings, especially large ones, smartphones and iPads have become commonplace too. Consider this situation: a large meeting, convened by an organization that has important designs and objectives for the participants. Each participant has a computer of some sort on their person (at least a smartphone).  Each participant is brimming with thoughts and feelings after hearing the CEO tell about the way forward … What would happen if you activated a wireless internet in that room, with some software that opened a screen on all those devices that asked, “What insights are you having?”  And then the CEO, and everyone in the room, could review and discuss those insights after they’d been themed quickly …

This situation describes a transformation – the shift from a meeting designed for mostly one-way communication, from the stage to the participants, to a meeting designed for frequent two-way communication, from the stage to the participants and back again to the stage … and then from the stage outward again, with thoughts about what the participants were saying.  Two-way.  Cycles of communication. Deep understanding.  Like dialogue, except now possible in large groups of hundreds or thousands.

Finally, because old habits die hard most large meetings are designed now just like they were 50 years ago – as one-way communication events.

Consider those possibilities in your own context, and bring those thoughts to this Soundview Live webinar: A New Model for Thinking About Large Meetings.  We will explore this capability and its profound impact on meeting outcomes.

For anyone who is remotely connected with organizational effectiveness and/or large meeting design and facilitation, this webinar should rock your world.  Organization leaders, welcome.

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.

Book Review: No More Pointless Meetings

by Martin Murphy
by Martin Murphy

Meetings hold a strange position in workplace culture. The average company holds numerous meetings among its various departments every day. While a number of these sessions involve key status updates for ongoing projects, many meetings are held simply because they’ve been on the calendar every week. The latter is the kind of meeting that quietly drives crazy leaders and employees alike. It’s also the kind of meeting that is in the crosshairs of management education consultant and author Martin Murphy. In his new book No More Pointless MeetingsMurphy provides executives with a new model to make meetings more effective. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.

Murphy gives leaders a four-part model to change the way in which work flows through an organization. Leaders, in particular, will benefit tremendously from Murphy’s model. He takes a hammer to traditional corporate hierarchy by offering that executives are not necessarily the best candidate to run a meeting. No More Pointless Meetings defines the role of the facilitator and explains his or her need to handle the process of the meeting while the group handles the content. It’s just one of the numerous departures from conventional wisdom that makes the book a must-read.

No More Pointless Meetings includes detailed information on Murphy’s four sessions: Issues Management, Innovation, Problem-Solving and Ongoing Planning. Murphy gives multi-step instructions to make each session productive from the outset. Change-phobic companies should take comfort that Murphy’s process does not cause the kind of upheaval that leads people to abandon the model before it has a chance to take root.

He also takes aim at the assumption that technology immediately removes some of the problems of traditional meetings. “If managers are doing a poor job of collaborating in person-to-person gatherings,” he writes, “digital collaborative performance will be even less effective.”

Regardless of your current method for meeting, No More Pointless Meetings can help you revise the model for the better.

Are Meetings Draining Your Productivity?

A recent article on HLNTV.com discussed the findings of a study by video communication startup Blue Jeans Network. Here are a few of the surprising stats from the study:

  • The most popular days to hold meetings are Wednesday and Thursday. A total of 61 percent of meetings take place on either day.
  • Of participants in the survey, workers joined a meeting via computer 77 percent of the time.
  • There is a higher percentage of meetings held in the month of February.
  • Less than half of all meetings start on time.

Many of these statistics may sound familiar to you in regards to your own workplace. With all the negativity towards attending more meetings, why do people continue to hold and show up to them?

Soundview is offering a new Soundview Executive Book Summary that explores the productivity drain caused by meetings. In No More Pointless Meetings, author and expert Martin Murphy helps you ditch the meaningless meeting and concentrate on breakthrough sessions that get results. He offers four new “work sessions” that get down to business and leave traditional meetings headed toward the scrap heap.

Executives operating in California should pay particular attention to Murphy’s work. Why? According to the Blue Jeans Network research, the state has the highest frequency of meetings in the United States with San Francisco being its most collaborative city.

Download your copy of No More Pointless Meetings today in any of Soundview’s digital formats.