One of my favorite consultants I had the opportunity of working very closely with is Dick Axelrod. He was basically the father of the Engagement movement with his books, Terms of Engagement and You Don’t Have to Do It Alone. He taught me a lot about consulting, putting on workshops, and working with groups. His books contain simple, yet powerful concepts, with his latest free e-book as a perfect example, a short read with timeless lessons. In fact, his whole Everyday Engagement effort was developed when working with our team, so I’ll take a little credit here (but no where else.)
One of my favorite concepts I learned from Dick was the meeting canoe. He really keyed in on meetings and said to me, “If you want to find out about the culture of a company, just attend one of their meetings.” How people interact with each other is truly surfaced in meetings, so his take was that if you wanted to change the culture of a company or organization, just start by changing their meetings. Meetings are what people seem to hate the most, therefore, they are the greatest source and have the greatest potential for changing the organization’s culture.