from Dick and Emily Axelrod

In as little as five minutes, get answers to your most vexing meeting problems. Take this course by yourself—or better yet take it with your team—and walk away with new ways to create, participate, and lead productive meetings.


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Think meetings kill productivity? This book invites you to think again by introducing a new way to meet that brings people together for productive cross-functional and cross-generational collaboration. The authors, leading consultants Dick and Emily Axelrod, have field-tested this approach for thirty years, and they offer a flexible, repeatable process that's helped get real work done in thousands of meetings across all sorts of organizations. Its many users will never go back. Neither will you.





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Richard Axelrod, MBA


Raised in Chicago, Dick teaches Crisis Leadership in the University of Chicago’s Masters in Threat and Response Management Program. Dick authored the award-winning Terms of Engagement: New Ways of Leading and Changing Organizations, and co-authored You Don’t Have to Do It Alone: How to Involve Others to Get Things Done, which the New York Times called “the best of the current crop of books on this subject.” Dick is the recipient of the Teaching Excellence Award from the University of Chicago. He remains a long suffering Chicago Cubs fan, which explains his optimistic spirit.

Emily Axelrod, MSW, MAT


Emily believes in stretching organizations so they can unleash their creativity and knowledge. Emily uses visioning, work redesign, team development, and good old common sense to build sustainable, fun, and collaborative enterprises. Emily co-authored You Don’t Have to Do It Alone, which the New York Times called, “The best of the current crop of books on this subject.” She is a contributing author to The Change Handbook, The Flawless Consulting Field Book, Future Search in School District Change, and numerous articles. She serves on the board of the Organization Design Forum. Emily brings her southern spirit and wit to everything she does.


American Management Systems
British Airways
Calgary Health Authority
Coca Cola
Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield
Erikson Institute
Fraser Health Authority
General Electric
Harley Davidson

Bell South Telecommunications
Chicago Tribune
Corning Incorporated
First Union Bank
Helene Curtis
Inland SteelHoneywell
Inova Health Care
National Health Service (UK)

The Boeing Company
Cincinnati Bell
Detroit Edison
Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut
Ford Motor Company
TaylorMade-adidas Golf


We transform business interactions into collaborative, human experiences. We do this by working with individuals, teams, organizations, and systems to improve performance. Our work with you is a cooperative effort that blends your understanding of your situation and our experience. Taken individually or collectively, we provide you with a menu of options for transforming your organization.


The Axelrod Group blog can now be found HERE. Follow us to see the latest posts.

Are Your Meetings Smart Meetings?

Just as a SMART phone does more than make phone calls, a SMART Meeting does more than start and end on time. SMART meetings: Increase collaboration Resolve critical business issues Spark creativity Spread collaboration Improve continuously The reason a SMART phone is able to do more than an ordinary phone is because it is designed […]

Five Important Trends in Organization Design

Recently I participated in a panel discussion with members of the Organization Design Forum’s Advisory Group of which I’m a member. Participating in this discussion were Stu Winby (President, Sapience Consulting), Sue Mohrman (Senior Research Scientist at the Center for Effective Organizations, University of Southern California), Craig McGee (President, Solutions Consulting), Terri Hill (President of […]

Make Your Meeting Hum: Always apply these 5 lessons from neuroscience

You can only do one thing at a time. Despite your desire to multitask, you can only do one thing well at a time. Think distracted driving. Instead of enforcing an arbitrary ground rule like no cell phones, share this lesson from neuroscience with meeting participants. Then ask the group to discuss what they are […]

Four Causes of Unproductive Meetings and What to Do about Them

1. Unclear Purpose Meeting participants are unclear about the purpose of the meeting or what they want to accomplish. Before holding a meeting, ask yourself what you want to be different for yourself, the participants, and the organization as a result of holding this meeting. Make sure you share this purpose with the participants. If […]