Last night we had another terrific session of the Washington, D.C. area Berrett-Koehler writers group. We get together four times a year or so for an improvisational writing activity, and to share a meal. The format of the exercises is simple: any member of the group can propose a topic, while specifying a brief time limit for everyone to write whatever comes into their head, without editing.
You can share it aloud with the others, or not. During the meal, several of us talked about the confusion surrounding the autumn equinox (which is celebrated today). “Autumn equinox” duly became a theme topic.
Now that summer is over, meeting-season is in full swing. And that’s not good news to most people. Given how much time most people spend in meetings, how can they be made more productive and useful? That’s the subject of a terrific new book, Let’s Stop Meeting Like This, by Dick and Emily Axelrod of The Axelrod Group.
I’ve gotten to know Dick and Emily during the past five years through the Berrett-Koehler Authors Cooperative, and my conversations with them are always personal highlight at the annual authors retreat. I asked Dick to elaborate on some of the book’s major points:
1. Can you briefly outline the concept of The Meeting Canoe™, and why it is relevant for all types of organizations?