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Seth Godin has written 12 bestsellers that have been translated into 33 languages

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All Marketers Tell Stories

Seth's most important book about the art of marketing

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Free Prize Inside

The practical sequel to Purple Cow

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Linchpin

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Why the internet works (and doesn't) for your business. And vice versa.

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The classic Named "Best Business Book" by Fortune.

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The latest book, Poke The Box is a call to action about the initiative you're taking - in your job or in your life, and Seth once again breaks the traditional publishing model by releasing it through The Domino Project.

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Small is the New Big

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Survival is Not Enough

Seth's worst seller and personal favorite. Change. How it works (and doesn't).

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The Big Red Fez

Top 5 Amazon ebestseller for a year. All about web sites that work.

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The Dip

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Tribes

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V Is For Vulnerable

A short, illustrated, kids-like book that takes the last chapter of Icarus and turns it into something worth sharing.

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We Are All Weird

The end of mass and how you can succeed by delighting a niche.

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Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck?

The sequel to Small is the New Big. More than 600 pages of the best of Seth's blog.

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Meetings

I had breakfast today with a senior executive who estimates she spends more than 30% of her time in internal meetings.

My guess is that many marketers (who seem to go to more meetings than most people) might envy a number that low.

Despite the time spent, most people don't seem particularly happy with the results the meetings create. In that spirit, I want to share some radical thoughts on how you could completely change the meeting dynamic in your organization.

DIFFERENT TYPES OF MEETINGS. It's a huge mistake to just show up in a conference room and have a meeting. If the expectation is 'yet another meeting', then the odds are, you'll have yet another meeting.

Here are a few very distinct types of meetings:

  • Just so everyone knows: This is a meeting in which one person or small group tells other people what's already been decided and is about to happen. These meetings should always have a written piece to go with them, and in many cases, it should be distributed a day before the meeting. The meeting should be very short, take place in an auditorium type setting, not a circle, and have focused Q&A at the end. Even a quiz. It's the football huddle, and the running back isn't supposed to challenge the very premises the quarterback is using to call the play.
  • What are you up to: This is a meeting in which every participant needs to present the state of their situation. It probably happens on a regular basis and each person should have a strict time limit. Like two minutes (with an egg timer). After presenting the situation, each attendee can send their summary in an email to one person, who can sum it up and send it out to everyone.
  • What does everyone think? In third place, a meeting where anyone can speak up. People who don't speak up on a regular basis should not be invited back. It's obvious they are good at some other function in the office, so you're wasting their time if they sit there.
  • We need a decision right now. These are ad hoc meetings that have a specific agenda and should end with a decision. A final decision that doesn't get reviewed.
  • Hanging out meetings. These are meetings with no real agenda, lots of side conversations, bored people, people instant messaging and just sort of hanging out. Sometimes these are fun, but I wouldn't know, because I haven't been to one in three years.
  • To hear myself talk meetings. You get the idea.

There are more, of course, and your situation is special, but in general, you ought to be able to clearly delineate what an ideal meeting is like, and then make it happen.

TIPS: I think most of the time, most meetings should be held without chairs. People standing up think more quickly and get distracted less often. And the meetings don't last as long.

All day meetings should be banned. Meetings that attempt to accomplish more than one of the tasks above should be banned.

Bonus tip: Last person to walk in the door pays $10 to the coffee fund.

Extra bonus tip: hire someone to come in and videotape a few of your standard meetings. Watch what happens.

Last tip: if there's someone senior in the group who comes to meetings, spouts off and then either changes his mind or doesn't take action, start asking people to sign in to meetings (with a pen) and then, when the meeting is over, sign out (with a pen) on a document that you create in the meeting that says what you did and what's going to happen next.

If it's not worth doing this stuff, then I guess it's worth wasting 30% of your day.

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Meetings:

» Too Many Meetings from Master the Business
How much time do you spend in meetings? I know that I spend way too much time in meetings. I bet I spend at least 40% of my time in meetings. Seth Godin comments on meetings a little on his blog today. He points out there are a few different types of m... [Read More]

» Meetings or Communication Encounters? from Leading Questions
Seth Godin offers a helpful take on meetings. The real problem is that we think of all this as meetings. These aren't meetings. These are communication encounters. The focus isn't on communication. It is attending the meeting. This stuff has [Read More]

» Ho un meeting, un seminario, un forum, un summit, una presentazione, un barcamp from Marketing For Nerds
Seth Godin: I had breakfast today with a senior executive who estimates she spends more than 30% of her time in internal meetings. My guess is that many marketers (who seem to go to more meetings than most people) might envy a number that low. Despite [Read More]

» Seths Blog: Meetings from STUFFLEUFAGUS
Holy Bat-Shit, Ape-Man! Seth NAILS IT! I spent the better part of 2000-2004 in meetings. Literally 60% of my time was in a meeting. In some cases we had weekly meetings on a single subject for 2-3 weeks before anything was decided.&nb... [Read More]

» Avoiding Deathly Meetings from mCrowd
Seth talks about running different types of meetings if you seek different levels of results. I've been implementing many of the same concepts in companies like Dell and VOXCOM over the past couple of years, largely influenced by the book... [Read More]

» links for 2007-04-21 from Reasoned Investing
Meetings (tags: business Management sethgodin productivity)... [Read More]

» Seth's Blog: Meetings from bizdig.com
Despite the time spent, most people don't seem particularly happy with the results the meetings create. In that spirit, I want to share some radical thoughts on how you could completely change the meeting dynamic in your organization. [Read More]

» The Different Types of Meetings from Subzero Blue
It's incredible how much companies love meetings. So much time is spent in meetings, you can't but think that it's sometimes a waste of time, and that is often true if these meetings are not productive enough and give no results. Seth Godin identifies ... [Read More]

» Meeting Overload from PPT - Powerful Presentation Techniques
Seth Godin has a great post about meetings. He bemoans the overabundance of meetings in the work environment and proceeds to deconstruct them into a few categories (just so everyone knows, what are you up to, what does everyone think, [Read More]

» Meeting to Meet About Meetings from Make More of Your Job
I’ve spent my fair share of time in meetings in my career, including (at my first company) meetings about when we could schedule meetings. The following article by Seth Godin explains how to make sure a meeting accomplishes its goal [Read More]

» Meetings... from Marketing with Microsoft for Partners...
I spent the bulk of the past few days in meetings...and while they were interesting, I think you lose [Read More]

» Chairman of the bored from fulminate // Architectures of Control
This blog often looks at methods for preventing people sitting down comfortably, usually in public space, from actual benches designed for this purpose, to features of walls and ledges which treat people like pigeons. How often is the complete lack of... [Read More]

» Work in Batch Mode from Attention Rich
Back in the dark ages when mainframes ruled the earth, real time processing was an unknown concept. You would create the instructions for the work you wanted performed on punch cards or magnetic tape, hand it to the mainframe operators, cross your fing... [Read More]

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