Having a meeting flow routine is an important discipline all high performing organizations have, regardless of size. I took the following from “Mastering the Rockefeller Habits” by Verne Harnish. (A great read by the way!)
There may be some things that you can add to your organization which would be beneficial.
I would suggest talking with your leadership team about how this might benefit you. If it’s a “GO”, make a decision on how to implement ASAP.
Most importantly, make a COMMITMENT to stick with this for the long haul. Specifically, you don’t want to be viewed by your employees as leaders who start an initiative and then allow everyone to slip back into their old ways. This will make any future continuous improvement efforts you have much more difficult if they are viewed as a “flavor of the month.”
Meeting Flow: A routine to set you free!
Predictable winners are those who have established a rhythm and a routine of having meetings.
How will you make your quarterly goals if you aren’t driving performance monthly, weekly, even daily?
Regular meetings with key people allow you to talk about new opportunities, big picture concerns, and bottlenecks as they arise.
Daily Meeting-An Imperative
Absolutely everybody in a growing company should be in some sort of 5-15 minute huddle daily.
You can take advantage of three important tools as a leader to increase team performance:
1) Peer pressure
2) Collective intelligence
3) Clear communication
This meeting focuses on the immediate issues at hand.
Make sure you start on time and end on time.
Don’t problem solve! This meeting is only for problem identification.
Who attends? The more the merrier!
1) What’s up? Everybody comments for 30 seconds. Look for crossed agendas and missed opportunities.
2) Daily measures – To track progress, the entire group looks at whatever daily measurement is being used. (You may need to decide this!) Some sort of measurable behavior.
3) Where are you stuck? Look for bottlenecks. This is crucial. It allows for verbalizing of struggles , fears, or concerns. This bottleneck discussion often reveals who is not doing his or her job.
THe Weekly Meeting
This meeting has a different purpose. It is intended to be a more issues oriented and strategic gathering. However, it won’t be unless you have established your daily meeting rhythm.
In the daily meetings, you put out a lot of the fires and clear up a lot of the outstanding issues which would otherwise bog down the weekly meeting.
Schedule the meeting for the same time and same place every week.
The Weekly Meeting Agenda
Start every meeting with 5 minutes of good news stories from everyone. Can be personal or professional, the more fun the better. Laughter starts the meeting on a good note, focuses everyone on the positive, and serves as a mental health check. If someone goes a few weeks without a good news story, intervene privately to make sure everything is ok.
10 minutes: The Numbers- Spend 10 minutes on individual and company wide measures of productivity. In fact, every firm should have at least 3 key performance indicators which provide true insight into the future performance of the business.
10 minutes: Customer and Employee Feedback- Spend the next 10 minutes reviewing specific feedback from customers and employees. What issues are cropping up day after day? What are people hearing?
30 minutes: A Single Issue- Don’t cover everything every week. This only allows you to deal with it at a shallow level. You want to focus the collective intelligence of the staff on a single issue. Choose one of your priorities to discuss.
Closing Comments- Have each attendee sum up with a word or phrase of reaction. What is your biggest takeaway? This creates a formal closing and gives a window into what people are thinking and feeling. If you find that there are lingering issues or conflicts, you can follow up.
The Executive Meeting should be approx. 1 hour. This can be a 30 minute meeting for front line employees.
This meeting flow assumes that there are goals in place and that the organization is aligned with the goals. Coupled with measures of productivity! If you need help in these areas, when would be a good time to get it? You know the answer. Maybe we should talk. I promise you a valuable, no obligation, no pressure interaction.
HLitwak@ParadigmAssociates.US or 518-664-5033
Growing organizations face common challenges. Does yours face any of these? Download “Measuring Growing Pains” here.