What’s Your Meeting Rhythm?

In my work with growth-minded, mid-market companies, I’ve found that most company dysfunctions sprout from a lack of communication and alignment amongst the leadership team.

Here are some symptoms of the problem to better describe what I mean:

  • Frustration with the lack of follow-through on company and individual commitments
  • Key decisions are discussed again and again with no resolution
  • Lack of trust amongst the leadership team…flowing down through the organization
  • Low employee engagement…starting with the leadership team
  • Lost productivity and opportunity due to lack of agreement as to the top 1-3 priorities for the quarter and year
  • Leaders spend more time putting out fires than defining and communicating company strategy
  • Excessive micro-managing by the CEO and key leaders

The problems spiral downward as leaders feel like they have less time for MEETINGS (often said like a dirty word) because they’re putting out fires.

I often hear “we don’t need more meetings, we talk all the time”. What these leaders don’t understand is that by implementing the RIGHT MEETINGS, with the RIGHT AGENDAS facilitated in the RIGHT WAY will actually save them time and increase productivity throughout the organization.

The right MEETING RHYTHMS will enable:

  • Increased productivity as everyone is aligned on the top priorities
  • Quicker decisions as the leadership team becomes aware of challenges faster and reacts to them faster as well
  • Increased accountability throughout the organization
  • Improved trust and collaboration

While all organizations are unique, I’ve found the meeting rhythm below is a great starting point.

Meeting Rhythm Summary

Annual Planning
Purpose:

  • This is where the old plan is assessed, the current realities are tested, and the new plan is formulated

Duration:

  • 2 Day Off-Site

Agenda:

  • Review results from the previous year and quarter
  • Check in on company’s cultural health and team performance
  • Review and adjust strategic thinking
  • Review and adjust 3-5 year plan
  • Conduct exercises to improve people, strategy, execution or cash
  • Participate in executive education to keep you sharp and new ideas flowing to grow the business
  • Plan your next successful year and quarter

Quarterly Planning
Purpose:

  • Emphasis is on reviewing and re-setting Priorities and Goals (Rocks) for the next 13-Week Meeting Rhythm Cycle for the entire organization.

Duration:

  • 1 Day

Agenda:

  • Review results from the previous quarter
  • Check in on company’s cultural health and team performance
  • Participate in executive education to keep you sharp and new ideas flowing to grow the business
  • Collaborate on strategic opportunity
  • Plan your next successful quarter

Monthly Meeting
Purpose:

  • These serve as directed review and education opportunities.

Duration:

  • ½ Day

Agenda:

  • Review progress on quarterly priorities
  • Discuss the numbers (KPI Dashboard)
  • Mid-course (quarter) adjustments
  • Collaborate on strategic opportunity
  • Participate in executive education to keep you sharp and new ideas flowing to grow the business

Weekly Meeting
Purpose:

  • These serve as a Status and Update Session for the entire team at either the executive or the departmental levels. More time is spent dealing with deeper detail and examination/education on an operational/tactical level.

Duration:

  • 1 hour

Agenda:

  • Status – Last week’s results and impediments
  • Individual accountability – priorities and KPIs
  • Chief executive commentary, guidance and inspiration

Daily Huddle
Purpose:

  • These stand-up meeting serves as daily synchronization for the entire team, at the executive and departmental levels. Information is shared either up or down the reporting chain. These sessions are designed to expose issues that need resolution, yet not necessarily resolve them on the spot.

Duration:

  • 7-12 minutes

Agenda:

  • Good news
  • Daily metric, Top Priority for the day
  • Where are you stuck?
  • Word or thought for the day

A few last thoughts:

  • If you’re annual planning meeting is not as productive as it should be, it’s because you’re not having effective quarterly meetings
  • If you’re quarterly meetings are not as productive as they should be, it’s because you’re not having effective monthly meetings
  • If you’re monthly meetings are not as productive as they should be, it’s because you’re not having effective weekly meetings
  • If you’re weekly meetings are not as productive as they should be, it’s because you’re not having effective daily huddles

I know this seems like a lot of meetings, but it’s exactly what your organization needs. Try the daily huddles and weekly meetings for 30 days before you give up. I promise it will save you time and speed your decision-making.

GET YOUR CALENDAR OUT AND SET YOUR MEETING RHYTHM NOW!!

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