MindFire Press
Breakthrough Business Meetings
"One of the most theoretically sound yet totally practical books on meetings and group management that I have ever read."

Edgar Schein, MIT Sloan School of Management


Dr. L wrote Breakthrough Business Meetings: Shared Leadership in Action so you could design and run more energizing and effective meetings.

Based on the secrets of professional group facilitators, Breakthrough Business Meetings will enable you to:
• Motivate meeting participants to act as a team

• Enable them to make consensus decisions

• Energize them to work together to implement those decisions

The universal principles in Breakthrough Business Meetings:

• Apply to any meeting, whether large or small, informal (with no set agenda) or formal (with a tight structure and established time limits)
• Apply to both business and non-business meetings, such as those of civic organizations, social groups, associations, schools, and governments

• Apply to face-to-face and virtual meetings

You can benefit from Breakthrough Business Meetings, whether you are designing and facilitating your first meeting, or you are a seasoned manager who has led hundreds of meetings.

Breakthrough Business Meetings has four parts. The first describes the breakthrough meeting system. The second deals with advanced meeting methods. The third presents four application case studies. The final section contains a variety of resources. Let us examine the benefits of each.

Part I—The Breakthrough Meeting System

As revealed in Breakthrough Business Meetings, the secret to running a great meeting is to view the meeting as part of an ongoing process of continuous organizational improvement, not as an isolated event.

In Breakthrough Business Meetings, you will learn what to do before, during, and after your meeting to ensure its success. Specifically, you will learn how to:

• Design a participative meeting that will maximize the enthusiasm and focus of participants on the objectives and outcomes of the meeting

• Agree on a common purpose and agenda, individual roles, and joint ground rules for the meeting at the outset

• Manage meeting tasks and facilitate teamwork during the meeting

• Develop joint action plans for implementing decisions made during the meeting

• Energize the group to implement these action plans

• Determinewhen and for what purpose
the group or subgroups will meet again

• Evaluate the effectiveness of the meeting and identify suggestions for continuous meeting improvement

• Work with the subgroups responsible for implementing the action plans between meetings to provide them with the resources and support they need to succeed.

Part II—Advanced Meeting Methods

The second part of Breakthrough Business Meetings focuses on advanced meeting methods. Included in this section of the book are chapters on:

• Important group facilitation processes, such as Brainstorming, Force Field Analysis, Ideal-State Analysis, and the Nominal Group Technique

• Managing interpersonal conflicts related to the stage in the group’s evolution as a team, differing personality types, and the actions of truly disruptive people

• Improving participant effectiveness by creating a supportive climate for active participation and using the meeting system described in Breakthrough Business Meetings to teach people how to become effective meeting participants

• Developing your people skills by becoming more self-aware, enhancing your interpersonal communication, and understanding the nature of change and how it affects meeting participants

Part III—Case Studies

This section of Breakthrough Business Meetings provides practical, real-world examples of how to apply the Breakthrough Meeting System to several business and non-business situations.

From these case studies, you will learn how to:

• Launch your first breakthrough meeting

• Launch a customer advisory board

Facilitate the reengineering of a strategic business unit

• Apply the system outside the meeting room to: 

      o A regular, one-on-one meeting 
      o A conflict resolution meeting 
      o A family meeting

Part IV—Appendixes and Resources

In this part of Breakthrough Business Meetings, you will find:

• A sample breakthrough meeting agenda

• Solutions to common meeting problems

• Tips for improving traditional meetings


As you have seen, there are many logical reasons to own a copy of Breakthrough Business Meetings. The following testimonials, from satisfied users of the principles and practices described in the book, provide some emotional reasons as well.

Earlier you read what Professor Schein, an expert in the field of human behavior and organizational change, had to say about Breakthrough Business Meetings:

“One of the most theoretically sound yet totally practical books on meetings and group management that I have ever read.” 

                       -- Edgar Schein—MIT Sloan School of Management

True to his word, Dr. Schein has used Breakthrough Business Meetings for years in a graduate course at the Sloan School of Management on change management.

Here is what some other people who have used the tools and techniques described in Breakthrough Business Meetings successfully in their work have to say:

“It’s never been more important to manage meetings for results. Breakthrough Business Meetings is practical and immediately usable. Levasseur’s methods are results driven and really produce.” 

                   -- Linda Repaci—VP, Corporate Information Systems

“Breakthrough Business Meetings is a wonderful guide for the leader/practitioner who wants to empower people and help teams to be the best they can be. There is no doubt that I will use this book often.” 

                                        -- Clifton Clarke, International Consultant

“In Breakthrough Business Meetings, Bob Levasseur presents some simple-to-follow steps that are based on complex human dynamics. Regardless of their years of experience, managers at all levels can use this book to improve meetings dramatically. I have used these breakthrough meeting techniques in my reengineering work to improve my performance and the performance of my organization.” 

                            -- Richard Powers, Process Integration Manager

“Not only have I read this book a number of times, I use it on a regular basis in my work. I've read all the books on meetings, and haven't found one better than Breakthrough Business Meetings!” 

                       -- Jim Kennedy, Organizational Change Consultant


I am confident that you will find the principles and practices described in Breakthrough Business Meetings: Shared Leadership in Action valuable in your work.

After you read and apply the information in the book, send an email to me at
BobLevasseur@midfirepress.com and let me know how you make out.


Bob Levasseur 


Order Breakthrough Business Meetings from your local bookstore, or order it online from Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. Be sure to bookmark the MindFire Press web site first, so you can return for more browsing once you've placed your order.

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