The business meeting—a necessary evil or a vital and invigorating component of running an organization? According to management consultant Lencioni (The Five Temptations of a CEO), meetings should fit the latter description, but more often than not, he says, they don’t. In this lackluster audio fable, Lencioni offers practical advice on how to revitalize your business by energizing your business meetings, but his pallid, passive prose would challenge the most skilled narrator, and Arthur is no exception. The voice Arthur lends Will, the young hero of this tale, resembles that of Sesame Street’s Ernie on downers, and the various inflections he gives business owner Casey McDaniel and his management team don’t make up for the characters’ lack of character. Nevertheless, Lencioni’s message comes across loud and clear—meetings should be interactive, not passive, and they should be structured (i.e., issues of immediate importance should be discussed in “weekly tactical” meetings, and issues that will fundamentally affect the business should be addressed in “monthly strategic” meetings). Although managers will find this advice worthwhile, they would gather just as much if they skipped the sluggish fable and listened to the last few tracks.
Patrick Lencioni is president of The Table Group, a management consulting firm specializing in executive team development and organizational health.
As a consultant and keynote speaker, he has worked with thousands of senior executives and executive teams in organizations ranging from Fortune 500s and high tech start-ups to universities and non-profits.
His clients include Southwest Airlines, AT&T, Bechtel, Cisco, Sam's Club, Microsoft, Mitsubishi, Allstate, Visa, FedEx, New York Life, Sprint, The Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the US Military Academy, West Point.