There are three books that have really changed me this past year. Three major influences that have undone my method for engaging people in group settings. The posts on this blog and conversations I engage in now are completely due to the literature I have been reading that is helping shape me better to be an agent of change.
And I direct anyone who has to lead, participate in, or attend many MEETINGS to consider changing that fundamental task into something more than it has ever been for you.
Good meetings should not be events. Every meeting should be a GOOD MEETING.
Try changing yours up!
I purely picked this book up one day based on the title and cover. I was engaged from the starting question asking "who taught you how to run a meeting?". I then discovered that the fundamental activity of meeting people in grouped spaces was a skill I never honed.
When it comes to teaching people about collaboration online and using innovative technology in education, I have found that I get more response to understanding this when collaboration is done in person first.
People need to see what collaboration is like in a real space first. When this happens regularly, then the introduction of online tools to enhance real space collaboration work SO MUCH better.
2. Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers by Dave Gray, Sunni Brown, and James Macanufo
This book was the first I read in my evolution. I suggest it as a second book after Petz's. This is the guidebook for changing how you run collaborative and innovative meeting spaces. The book has great ideas for "low-tech" collaboration and 2/3s of the book contains actual activities explained not only how to do them but what type of results one can expect from them.
Their blog has up to date ideas and reflective comments from those who are putting Gamestorms into practice. And now, there is an App for referencing Gamestorms on the go.
3. Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter by Liz Wiseman with Greg McKeown
This book is helping me open the partnership up between my colleagues to allow those I work around to become the leaders and decision-makers for innovation. A multiplier is someone who increases the intelligence of those in the room by letting them make intelligent choices and contribute out-of-the-box ideas and discussions.
This is the concept of the facilitator vs. sage on the stage in education, but applied to those of us in leadership roles.