Making Meetings Matter

James Ware

Are you stuck in the unproductive meeting trap?


It is common to feel that corporate meetings are a waste of time. Time that could be better spent getting “real work” done. But it doesn’t have to be that way. This book is dedicated to the proposition that meetings can be meaningful, productive, and even fun—all at the same time.

We need to bring business meetings into the digital age in the same way that we have reinvented business planning and written communication. In a technology-rich world filled with people working flexibly, remotely, and across multiple time zones, the way we lead meetings is out of alignment with 21st-century organizational reality.

This book is all about reinventing the business meeting. It offers advice and guidance for streamlining and strengthening all kinds of corporate conversations; but it focuses where it should, on the formal meetings that fill up over 50 percent of most managers’ calendars.

James Ware

James Ware, PhD, is a former Harvard Business School professor who has invested his entire career in understanding what organizations must do to thrive in a rapidly changing world.

His business wisdom comes from deep academic knowledge and over thirty years of hands-on experience as a senior executive and a change leader driving corporate innovation. All that work in the trenches taught him how critical meetings are to organizational success and how rare it is for them to be productive, let alone popular.

Praise for Making Meetings Matter

“Like most executives I spend most of my waking hours in meetings.With digital technology transforming the way we work, we desperately need to rethink how to make those meetings matter. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to lead more effective conversations.”

Joe Hagan

Chief Executive Officer, National Equity Fund

“This is much more than a book about meetings. Jim Ware has shared his views on how work is evolving and uses his insight to challenge many of our traditional meeting practices. This book should be read by anyone who is frustrated by wasting time in pointless meetings – which is probably most of us!”

Peter Thomson

COO of the FutureWork Forum and coauthor of "Future Work"

“Meetings are such a waste of time, and yet they offer so much potential that they deserve attention and analysis. Jim Ware goes beyond the typical agenda-setting and time-control issues to deal with the true basis for meetings. This is a must-read book.”

Dr. Jac Fitz-Enz

Founder of Human Capital Source and author of "The New HR Analytics"