Why a Good Meeting Agenda Isn’t Enough to Ensure Value

In a recent blog posting by Michael Hyatt entitled “The Secret to Great Meetings: Preparation,” Hyatt offers three useful suggestions. They consist of:

1) Designate a meeting leader and facilitator

2) Construct a carefully planned agenda

3) Pick the right setting.

The second point ensures the meeting has a primary purpose, with two or three desired outcomes.

Is that enough? Probably not suggests Ann Latham in her new book The Power of Clarity. After all, outcomes that come from meetings often amount to nothing more than “let’s study this further” or “so-and-so will circle back with some ideas for next time.” Instead, Latham argues in favor of a firmer standard: what is tangibly different as a result of discussing the issue during the meeting? Only then will real progress happen.

Released today: episode #69 of my podcast series “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight,” featuring Ann Latham discussing The Power of Clarity: Unleash the True Potential of Workplace Productivity, Confidence, and Empowerment. Click on https://newbooksnetwork.com/category/special-series/dan-hills-eq-spotlight to get to the new episode.

Ann Latham has consulted for major global companies like Boeing and Medtronic, as well as Public Television, and she’s the author of two other books: The Clarity Papers and Uncommon Meetings. She’s been interviewed by The New York times, Bloomberg Business Week, and Forbes, where she’s also an expert blogger.

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Dan Hill, PhD, is the president of Sensory Logic, Inc. His latest book, available on Amazon is Blah, Blah, Blah: A Snarky Guide to Office Lingo.

Tear Down That Wall

An image with this question: What’s the percentage of African-American women in management? The choices are: 2%, 4%, 6%.

The correct answer is four percent. So, in corporate America, while women constitute about 30% of the personnel in management, African-American women are only one eighth of that 30% total. Or to put it another way: in a more fair world, since black women collectively form 7.4% of the U.S. population, that four percent should be twice as large. You might ask “What are the percentages for other women of color?” The answer is 4.3% for Latinas, and 2.5% for Asian women. No wonder my eloquent guests on this episode refer to the situation women are facing as—not a glass wall—but a concrete wall! Remember Ronald Reagan telling the Soviets to “tear down that wall”? Just like the Berlin Wall, this issue is a matter of justice and liberty, too. To rectify the situation, more compelling steps must be undertaken than mere lectures about the need for greater diversity. For instance, Ella Bell Smith mentions that at Dartmouth’s Tuck School where she teaches, they’re about to take executive groups on an immersive experiential journey: visiting the anti-lynching museum in Alabama. Of all the interviews I’ve taped, this is one of my favorites.

Released today: episode #68 of my podcast series “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight,” featuring Ella Bell Smith and Stella M. Nkomo discussing Our Separate Ways: Black and White Women and the Struggle for Professional Identity. Click on https://newbooksnetwork.com/category/special-series/dan-hills-eq-spotlight to get to the new episode.

In image of Ella Bell Smith and Stella M. Nkomo and their new book : "Our Separate Ways:Black and White women and the Struggle for Professionla Identity" For Dan Hill's EQ Spotlight podcast episode 68 "Why are We Still Stuck?"

Ella Bell Smith is a professor of business administration at the Tuck School of Business. She’s also the founder and president of ASCENT: Leading Multicultural Women to the Top. Stella M. Nkomo is a professor in the Department of Human Resource Management at the University of Pretoria. She was the founding president of the Africa Academy of Management.

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Dan Hill, PhD, is the president of Sensory Logic, Inc. His latest book, available on Amazon is Blah, Blah, Blah: A Snarky Guide to Office Lingo.

Rip Currents

An image of this question: Which of the 3 categories contributes the most top-10 trends? Is it economic, technological or social?

The correct answer is Economic, twice over. Not only does it provide half of all the top-10 trends or “undercurrents” in Jonathan Brill’s seminal book Rogue Waves, those economic trends also garner the most prominence by laying down the changing landscape (or “seascape”) that companies must navigate to protect and enrich their futures. What goes first? Changing demographics: the cost and availability of a company’s most precious resources: its personnel and its customers. Aging populations, a skilled labor shortage, and accelerating urbanization are the key emerging patterns in that case. Other trends that belong in the Economic category consist of the data economy, automation, the rise of Asia, and cheap money. The technological category encompasses the closing innovation window, and what Brill calls “remixing and convergence” (new combinations of existing technologies). Finally, the Social category addresses digital trust and new social contracts. This week’s new episode dips into several of these top-10 factors; to get to them all, buy Brill’s book!

Released today: episode #67 of my podcast series “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight,” featuring Jonathan Brill discussing Rogue Waves: Future-Proof Your Business to Survive & Profit from Radical Change. Click on https://newbooksnetwork.com/category/special-series/dan-hills-eq-spotlight to get to the new episode.

Jonathan Brill is the former Global Futurist and Research Director for HP, a board member and advisor to the Chairman at Frost & Sullivan, and the Futurist-in-Residence at Territory Studio. Companies he’s consulted for over the years have generated over $27 billion from new revenue sources.

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Dan Hill, PhD, is the president of Sensory Logic, Inc. His latest book, available on Amazon is Blah, Blah, Blah: A Snarky Guide to Office Lingo.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Image of this question: What would you most like to excel in? The choices are: strength, intelligence, kindness or beauty.

There is NO correct answer to this week’s quiz, which poses one of the 401 philosophical questions explored in David Birch’s book, Pandora’s Box. While many, even most, of my recent blogs have focused on business, this week’s podcast and blog has to do with pondering the meaning of life as opposed to how to make a meaningful living. How you might answer the quiz will reveal the value system that underlies your life and gives it purpose and direction. Are there other versions of this quiz? Yes, one would be: what do you most want: wealth, fame, power or love? Another comes from Catholicism: of the seven deadly sins, which do you believe is the worst: wrath, sloth, gluttony, avarice, lust, envy or pride? When I had the opportunity to ask that last question of former U.S. presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy years ago, the former professor was quick to answer: “Envy. In politics, sloth is a virtue.” By that he meant, the laws and policies that get rushed into action are often, in hindsight, those that prove to be the most regrettable. An answer to live by.

Released today: episode #66 of my podcast series “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight,” featuring David Birch discussing Pandora’s Box: 401 Philosophical Questions to Help You Lose Your Mind (with Answers) and Fred Matser discussing his book, Beyond Us: A Humanitarian’s Perspective on Our Values, Beliefs and Way of Life. Click on https://newbooksnetwork.com/category/special-series/dan-hills-eq-spotlight to get to the new episode.

David Birch teaches philosophy and religious studies at Highgate School in London. Fred Matser is the founder and chairman of the Fred Foundation and a leading Dutch humanitarian.

Image of NewBooks Network logo and Dan HIll's EQ Spotlight podcast logo

Dan Hill, PhD, is the president of Sensory Logic, Inc. His latest book, available on Amazon is Blah, Blah, Blah: A Snarky Guide to Office Lingo.

Emotions Create Habits

In the equation Behavior = Motivation & A_______ & prompt, what does A stand for? What’s your guess? Is it Ability, Aggravation or Absinthe?]

The correct answer to this week’s quiz is A because to change a habit you need to make it easy. Figure out which elements stand in the way, typically either time, money, physical effort, mental effort, or an unproductive routine. Find a weak link in what author BJ Fogg calls the Ability Chain, and you’ve found a way to break-through. Fogg has been in the business of helping people and companies change habits for a decade now and has a wonderful array of terminology and sayings. “Emotions create habits” is one of them. Another is “Decision and habit are opposites.” Still another is “Celebration is habit fertilizer.” Perhaps most important of all is “Simplicity changes behavior.” Give this episode a try, on behalf of making your listening to my podcast series one of your new habits!

Released today: episode #65 of my podcast series “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight,” featuring BJ Fogg discussing Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything. Click on https://newbooksnetwork.com/category/special-series/dan-hills-eq-spotlight to get to the new episode.

An image of Author BJ Fogg and the front cover of his new book "Tiny Habits: The Small Changes that Change Everything" for Dan Hill's EQ Spotlight newBooks network Podcast episode 65.

BJ Fogg founded the Behavior Design Lab at Stanford University. He teaches industry innovators and created the Tiny Habits Academy to help people around the world. He lives in Northern California and Maui.

Image of NewBooks Network logo and Dan HIll's EQ Spotlight podcast logo

Dan Hill, PhD, is the president of Sensory Logic, Inc. His latest book, available on Amazon is Blah, Blah, Blah: A Snarky Guide to Office Lingo.

Dan Hill, PhD, is the president of Sensory Logic, Inc. His latest book, available on Amazon is Blah, Blah, Blah: A Snarky Guide to Office Lingo.

Speaking Truth to Power

What percentage of times does a person in a company dare speak truth to power? Is it 10%, 20%, or  30%? What’s your guess?

The correct answer to this week’s quiz is supposedly C), 30%. At least that’s what Jim Detert has concluded from participants completing the survey that underlies his Workplace Courage Acts Index. In that survey, the questions involve whether one dares challenge an authority figure—defined defined as a manager or a leader one rank or more above your supervisor. A challenge could be regarding a strategic or operating policy; inappropriate behavior; or unethical, even illegal behavior. At the policy level, the percentage of courage nears 40% (managers are easier than leaders to challenge). But when it comes to personal behavior, being a good diplomat is crucial to ensure your career doesn’t get beheaded. Detert’s best advice for how to speak truth to power and survive to tell the tale? Have a solution in mind. Be specific and also be seen as an advocate for growth or improvement, as opposed to merely shaming the other party. Another hint: it helps if you’ve built up your personal brand equity by demonstrating warmth and competency leading up to the moment when you dare to step up.

Released today: episode #64 of my podcast series “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight,” featuring Jim Detert discussing Choosing Courage: The Everyday Guide to Being Brave at Work. Click on https://newbooksnetwork.com/category/special-series/dan-hills-eq-spotlight to get to the new episode.

Jim Detert is the John L. Colley Professor of Business Administration at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He’s won multiple awards for his teaching and curriculum development at both UVA and Cornell University.

Image of NewBooks Network logo and Dan HIll's EQ Spotlight podcast logo

Dan Hill, PhD, is the president of Sensory Logic, Inc. His latest book, available on Amazon is Blah, Blah, Blah: A Snarky Guide to Office Lingo.

Dan Hill, PhD, is the president of Sensory Logic, Inc. His latest book, available on Amazon is Blah, Blah, Blah: A Snarky Guide to Office Lingo.

Is Paying for Trust Untrustworthy?

The correct answer to this week’s quiz is option A), Facebook.  Per post, the recent compensation rate on Facebook was $250. By comparison, on average influencers get paid by sponsors $100 per post on Instagram and merely $20 per post on Twitter. The second-best monetary gain for influencers is in fact on YouTube, where a post typically earns them $200. In other words, trust has become a commodity, too. In Gordon Glenister’s new book, he aptly points out that companies have turned to influencers who possess more “street cred” and offer sponsors access to passionate niche audiences that make influences an appealing alternative to high-priced celebrities appearing in TV spots. Another way to think of the influencer phenomenon, however, is that in parallel to how companies now offer workers gigs rather than careers, here again the compensation levels are collapsing as companies try to earn (lost) trust on the cheap by associating themselves with up-and-coming social media stars.

Released today: episode #63 of my podcast series “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight,” featuring Gordon Glenister discussing Influencer Marketing Strategy: How to Create Successful Influencer Marketing. Click here to get to the new episode.

Gordon Glenister is the Global Head of Influencer Marketing for the Branded Content Marketing Association. Host of the Influence podcast, Glenister was previously the Director General of the British Promotional Merchandise Association for over a decade.

Dan Hill, PhD, is the president of Sensory Logic, Inc. His latest book, available on Amazon is Blah, Blah, Blah: A Snarky Guide to Office Lingo.

What It Takes to Avoid Derailing Your Career

The correct answer to this week’s quiz is all of the above, A through C. It’s a trick question because advancing as well as protecting one’s career is a tricky proposition. It’s tempting to say A, competency, is the single most important quality to possess. After all, what’s more fundamental than can you do the job well? And yet, as a university department chair said to me in an interview years ago: “We know you’ll publish and be good in the classroom. What we want to know is can we stand to go to lunch with you for the next 20 or more years?” So in lots of ways, B, compatibility, can you get along with others, proves more decisive in one’s career. Finally, don’t underestimate option C, commitment. Sure, on day one you want to do the job well and get along with others. After three to five years into the job, however, when you’ve been disappointed by sundry developments within your department, can you still summon the energy to care? It’s hard to fake being excited to be there. They give Oscars in Hollywood for playing a role, but you may not be an A-list actor day in and day out.

Released today: episode #62 of my podcast series “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight,” featuring Gorick Ng discussing The Unspoken Rules: Secrets to Starting Your Career Off Right. Click here to get to the new episode. 

Gorick Ng is a career adviser at Harvard College. He’s also managed new employees at the Boston Consulting Group, worked in investment banking at Credit Suisse, and been a researcher with the Managing the Future of Work project at Harvard Business School. Gorick’s book has been featured on “The Today Show,” CNBC, and in the New York TimesWall Street Journal, and Fast Company

Dan Hill, PhD, is the president of Sensory Logic, Inc. His latest book, available on Amazon is Blah, Blah, Blah: A Snarky Guide to Office Lingo.

Catch 23: Anxiety about Anxiety at Work

An image of this question: As of July, 2020, what percentage of Americans feared for their job security? The possible answers are 40%, 60% or 80%. What’s your guess?

The correct answer to this week’s quiz is option B. Nor is that the last of the eye-opening statistics contained in the new book by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton. Workplace anxiety is estimated to cost America $40 billion a year in lost productivity, errors, and health-care costs. Add in stress in general and that number climbs to over $300 billion. What percentage of millennials have quit a job for mental health reasons? The answer is estimated to be over 50%. For Gen Z, the estimate is 75%. Finally, here’s the kicker. In a situation reminiscent of Joseph Heller’s famous, satirical novel about World War Two, Catch-22, 90% of employed adults report that they would be anxious about reporting their on-the-job anxiety to their bosses. In other words, welcome to the bureaucratic absurdity Heller’s characters encounter on a daily basis: “a problem for which the only solution is denied by a circumstance inherent in the problem” itself. A boss causing stress becomes the choke point for resolving that stress.

Released today: episode #61 of my podcast series “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight,” featuring Chester Elton discussing Anxiety at Work. Click on https://newbooksnetwork.com/category/special-series/dan-hills-eq-spotlight to get to the new episode. 

Image of Authors Chester Elton and Adrian Gostick and the cover of their new book "Anxiety at Work Eight Strategies to Help Teams Build Resilience, Handle Uncertainty and Get Stuff Done. for Dan Hill's EQ Spotlight on the New Books Network.

Adrian Gostick is ranked among the top ten global gurus in leadership and organizational culture. Chester Elton is ranked number two among organizational culture experts around the world and among the top ten in leadership and it shows in my interview in which he’s an exceptionally gracious guest.

Dan Hill, PhD, is the president of Sensory Logic, Inc. His latest book, available on Amazon is Blah, Blah, Blah: A Snarky Guide to Office Lingo.

Sensitive Strivers, Incorporated

An image of this question: There are five personality traits that belong to the Big-5 Model. Three are shown here: conscientiousness, neuroticism, and agreeableness. Which two of these three traits might best describe somebody who’s a Sensitive Striver? What’s your guess?

The correct answer to this week’s quiz is answers A and C, though B is hardly out of the question. That conclusion comes courtesy of Melody Wilding, a self-described Sensitive Striver. What characterizes this type of person in Wilding’s estimation? Sensitive Strivers tend to be sensitive obviously; also thoughtful, responsible, vigilant and full of inner drive. They’re committed and kind-hearted, hence conscientious about the details and eager to get along with others. Their tendency to be “over-everything” can get them into trouble. In other words, they’re perfectionists who get burdened with more work than they or anybody could readily handle. Stress results. To overcome what Wilding calls the Honor Roll Hangover and subsequent burn-out, she suggests cutting your to-do list by 70%. A safer route is to ditch an all-or-nothing approach for something more modulated and realistic. If you can do that and keep your job, another way others might describe you is a Miracle Worker!

Released today: episode #60 of my podcast series “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight,” featuring Wilding discussing her book Trust Yourself. Click on https://newbooksnetwork.com/category/special-series/dan-hills-eq-spotlight to get to the new episode. 

An image of the author Melody Wilding and her new book "Trust Yourself: Stop Overthinking and Channel Your Emotions for Success at Work" for Dan Hill's EQ Spotlight podcast episode 60.

Melody Wilding has been named one of Business Insider’s “Most Innovative Coaches” with clients across a range of Fortune 500 companies. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Oprah Magazine, Fast Company, The Washington Post, and elsewhere. She received her master’s degree in social work from Columbia University. 

Dan Hill, PhD, is the president of Sensory Logic, Inc. His latest book, available on Amazon is Blah, Blah, Blah: A Snarky Guide to Office Lingo.