Does this sound like your company’s leadership team meetings?
They’re an interruption. They distract you from real work and eat up valuable time. They’re random. You only meet when there’s fires to put out, and it’s a painfully chaotic process. They lack focus. Meetings are filled with meandering discussions that never really solve the real issues. They’re filled with unnecessary people. There’s always someone who really didn’t need to attend, which just adds to this feeling of wasting time. I could go on.
Let’s face it; we’ve all had the experience of boring, lengthy meetings that accomplish nothing. At the same time, meetings are critical to ensuring that the entire team is on the same page and moving in the right direction. That’s why it’s important to establish a meeting rhythm that will help you be optimally effective.
Embedding the communication tools, processes and routines required to create clarity and align everyone in the organization (onto the same page and the same direction) is the key to consistently driving execution and results.
And when it comes to communication and alignment, one activity, more than any other, will be central to maintaining the focus and discipline of an organization.
There is no better way to have a fundamental impact on an organization than by changing its meetings.
Picture the business leader who says, “If I didn’t have to go to meetings, I’d like my job a lot more,”.
It’s a bit like hearing a surgeon saying to a nurse before surgery, “If I didn’t have to operate on people, I might actually like this job.”
I have some news for you if you lead and manage an organisation; meetings are pretty much what you do.
Let me dispel the myth that all meetings are bad, that meetings are a waste of time, and that there are already too many of them.
To build momentum, you’ll probably need to meet even more than you presently do. It is possible to hold extremely productive meetings that actually save time. The meeting rhythm is key to your organisation’s heartbeat. To move faster, you need to pulse faster – by embedding a rhythm of weekly, monthly, quarterly & annual meetings. These meetings bring focus and alignment, provide an opportunity to solve problems more quickly, and ultimately save time. They also address the number one problem when people work together: communication.
Here’s what I recommend for the best results:
1. Annual Meeting. This is when you decide on your annual objectives that will help you meet your 3–5-year goals. Invite the management team, and if possible, hold it offsite. Plan 1-2 days for it. You might even consider bringing in a professional facilitator.
2. Quarterly Meeting. The agenda for this meeting is to communicate your quarterly goals to the entire staff. Everyone should be invited. Plan on 4-8 hours.
3. Monthly Meeting. This is a management-only meeting, where you discuss 1-2 critical strategic items in depth. Give yourselves 4 hours to accomplish this one.
4. Weekly Meeting. Again, this meeting is for management. Discuss news, Key Performance Indicators, tasks and activities, and anything that needs to be handled urgently. No more than 2 hours here.
5. Daily “Huddle.” Company-wide, everyone should spend about 15 minutes per day in their individual departments going over their daily priorities, objectives, and bottlenecks with one another.
Implement this simple meeting schedule, and you’ll have your team functioning more effectively than ever before!
Regular meetings act as a placeholder in everyone’s calendar. Because it often takes longer to set up meetings and it does to hold them, pre-scheduling reduces hassles and organizing them.
Most matters can wait for the daily huddle or the weekly meeting. Bigger issues, which necessitate getting everyone in a room for a few hours, can be addressed during the monthly management meeting.
This rhythm of meetings shouldn’t require more than 10% of a standard 40 to 50-to-60-hour work week for the senior leadership; 5% to 7% for middle managers, and 3% for frontline staff.
Naturally, there will be other meetings-with customers, suppliers, investors, etc., but this rhythm of meetings is sufficient to manage the business.
If you’d like more about how business coaching can help in growing your business, get in touch with me. You can book an initial complimentary 15-minute call with me at TimeWithShane.com.