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Who Doesn't Love Meetings? Oh yeah, everyone!

Berrett-Koehler Publishers - A community dedicated to creating a world that works for all

V 9:2  Aug 21, 2014
Happy birthday, Count Basie!
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Nothing is what it seems.

BK Communiqué

"Meetings are indispensable when you don't want to do anything.

-- John Kenneth Gailbraith

The Book: Let's Stop Meeting Like This: Tools to Save Time and Get More Done
Why Read It? Most people regard meetings as places where productivity goes to die. But in this book, leading consultants Dick and Emily Axelrod share a way to meet that enables you to get work done right there in the meeting, an approach they've spent thirty years field testing. 
Using the same work-design principles that transformed the mind-numbing assembly line into the dynamic factory floor and make video games so engaging, the authors offer a flexible, repeatable process that has already been used to run thousands of productive meetings in all kinds of organizations.

Read an excerpt here and buy the book for 30% off here.  
For academic desk copies, please contact Mike Crowley.
For media review copies, please contact Kat Engh.
News, Features, and Free Stuff
Meetings: Leading Cause of Death?   

In this issue of the Communiqué, we explore how to design better, more effective meetings and get more done in those meetings.

Meetings have marked times of  great changes in history or human interaction, and to illustrate this point, we present Five Meetings That Changed History.
Other News  

+ Yolo has been added as a word to the Oxford online dictionary. Goodbye, English.

+ Research shows that readers absorb less of what they're reading when using a Kindle (as opposed to plain ol' paper).

+ George RR Martin recently explained why there's so much sex in his books and yet so little of it is homosexual or bisexual in nature.

+ Guess which unexpected country is experiencing a huge (and profitable) self-publishing boom?

+ The originators of the English language have spoken: here are ten grammar rules you can now break.

+ Amazon just made it harder to buy Disney DVDs.

+ The new Penguin edition of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory features a pretty creepy, sexualized cover.

+ A sex education textbook for high school freshmen has been returned to the publisher because of contents relating to S & M and bondage practices.

+ Wikipedia as a series of physical books? Seriously?

+ There's now a computer programmed to write original fables --complete with moral lesson.

+ If you're planning to visit Thailand, know that importing drugs is illegal. Also dangerous is bringing in copies of Orwell's 1984. 

+ Free Summary of a New York Times Bestseller: Hard Choices, by Hillary Clinton. 

+ Free Resources: Which side of your brain is more dominant? Take this thirty-second test here to find out.

+ Free Stuff: Update all of your software at once and stay updated automatically using Ninite.
Which BK Book Is This?

This is not a book about intestinal fortitude or being proud of one's flatulence-related actions. This is the Swedish edition of one of our bestselling books by one of the bestselling business authors of all time. The word fart means something entirely different in Swedish.


Click here to find out which Berrett-Koehler book this is.


Be a Pretentious Literary Snob
We provide you with obscure and impressive knowledge about literature and writing so that you can be a pretentious literary know-it-all.
How many words have become obsolete in English from lack of use? Last time we featured five such words, and that post was a hit. So here are  Five More Obsolete Words We Need to Bring Back.
Marginally Unethical Life Hacks
Some things are ethical; some things are not. And then there are those things that help you get ahead that, technically, are not unethical, but, well --

This time, we show you how to buy premium trials on websites without using your personal credit cards or bank information.
Confessions of an Editorial Assistant
Editorial Assistant Anna Leinberger sees things here at BK -- sometimes these things are beautiful, sometimes they're ugly, and sometimes they're just plain silly. But now she's telling all.

Speaking of Meetings...

Board meetings are where the most important company decisions are made, but no matter how well the meeting is conducted, you still need good people at the table to guide the organization ethically and run the company in everyone's best interests. That's why B. Joseph White wrote Boards That Excel: Candid Insights and Practical Advice for Directors


Joe argues that corporate boards work only when directors go beyond their standard duties of oversight and monitoring management. Directors must set high aspirations, serve as stewards, and make decisions that create value for all stakeholders -- owners, employees, customers, and society. See how some boards that stink and you'll realize why this book is important.

Free E-Book (for 48 Hours)
For forty-eight hours, we are giving away e-copies of The Hamster Revolution for Meetings, by Mike Song, Vicki Halsey, and Tim Burress, and all you need to do to get it is answer just this one multiple-choice question. This offer is available exclusively for BK Communiqué subscribers. But act fast! After midnight on August 22, 2014, you're going to have to plunk down $19.95 like everyone else. Go now.

And if you're curious about the results of the last one-question survey (where we asked you if ethics were universal or relative), you can see them here.
End Notes


Last time, I issued this challenge. No one submitted the correct answer, so all I have to say is this. That answer can be found here.

Your next challenge can be found here.

Email me with any comments or rants. And for something completely unrelated, here are thirty-two painful facts about everyday life.

Oh, and here's your biweekly dose of random.


P.S. -- this isn't real, is it?
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