How this one factor can affect your chance for success…
Do you know what the No. 1 problem people face when working together?
Meetings, if done correctly, improve communication. Thy provide focus, alignment and offer an opportunity to solve problems more quickly.
Yes, contrary to popular opinion, they can also save valuable time. Regularly scheduled meetings serve as place holders in everyone’s calendar, which saves time from having to constantly schedule them and lessens ad-hoc interruptions.
If you want your organisation to move faster, you’ll want to pulse faster. The meeting rhythm is the heartbeat of the organisation. The more well-run your daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual meetings are, the higher your chance for success.
Every day, Rockefeller would sit down with key people and have lunch. Ultimately, these daily luncheons included Rockefeller’s nine directors. They met every single day. A century later, Steve Jobs and Johnathan Ive, Apple’s design guru, also had lunch together every single day.
Is their success a coincidence, or should their consistent meeting rhythm receive the credit for success? I’d say it’s the latter.
The root meaning of the word company is “to share bread.” By gathering each day, they:
- Strengthened their personal and professional bond.
- Got to know each other very well.
- Had the opportunity to check in with one another about what was accomplished or encountered the previous day.
There’s more information about meeting rhythms in this blog, but here are some hints and tips to make each meeting successful.
The Daily Huddle
The Daily Huddle is an absolute necessity but should run no longer than 15 minutes a day. It’s also a good idea to have Daily Huddles as stand-up meetings to encourage their brevity.
Generally, frontline employees will only be in one Daily Huddle; those in management will be in two – one with their direct reports and one with their leader.
This is a typical agenda for a Daily Huddle:
- What’s up (in the next 24 hours)?
- What are the daily metrics?
- Where are you stuck?
Here are some tips to make your Daily Huddle successful:
- Ensure that your team talks specifics in the Daily Huddle and avoids generalities. This few seconds of detail enables your team to compare this data with information in their own heads.
- Schedule it at an odd time: 8:08am or 16:16pm. People are more likely to be on time. Always start on time, whether everyone is there or not, and end on time.
- Pick someone to run the meeting (this might not be the CEO) who is naturally structured and disciplined. This is also the person who requests “Please take it offline.”
- Avoid checking to see if someone completed something they said they were going to at the previous Daily Huddle. Looking forward is great management; looking backward is micromanagement.
- Anyone moving quickly will encounter constraints, so be wary if someone goes two days without reporting a constraint. Challenge the team member who states, “Everything is fine!”
If the Daily Huddles are working well, they should take care of many items that could clog up a weekly meeting.
The goal of the Weekly Meeting is to keep everyone 100% laser-focused on the No. 1 priority.
You will be able to tap the collective intelligence of the team for 30 to 60 minutes on one or two important topics. If you’re doing the math, the group has the opportunity to resolve 50 to 100 important things each year.
This is a typical agenda for a Weekly Meeting:
- Good news (personal and professional): 5 minutes
- The priorities: 10 minutes
- Customer and employee feedback: 10 minutes
Here are some tips to make your Daily Huddle successful:
- Pick one morning or afternoon to host all of your project and functional meetings back-to-back. This puts everyone in the meeting mindset and flow while freeing up senior management to spend the rest of the week on other tasks.
- In the first 25 minutes, warm up the brain and share enough data so that team members can see patterns and trends. In the last 35 to 65 minutes, put the team’s collective intelligence to work to make important decisions.
- Try to have the series of weekly meetings end before lunch or happy hour, so there is a more informal setting for execs to discuss issues that arise during the structured part of the meeting.
Monthly Management Meeting
This meeting includes everyone who supervises or manages anyone in the business. This is a day of problem-solving.
The Monthly Management Meeting is an opportunity to grow your middle managers and allows them to be involved in helping to solve the problems faced by the company.
The agenda will vary depending on the organisation, but generally, the management team will collectively tackle one or two big items.
Optional Monthly Town Hall
Some organisations choose to have a Monthly Town Hall Meeting with all employees to share company news and discuss any issues important to them.
Although it’s in the spirit of transparency and openness, one of the biggest mistakes a CEO can make is to share important updates with ALL employees before briefing the middle managers and supervisors.
Brief all managers first, so they have a chance to process information before they are in a position to field questions from employees.
Quarterly and Annual planning meetings
The priority for these meetings is to work through and update your Growth Tools.
If you want your company to scale up faster, check out your meeting rhythms.
Be sure your company’s meeting pulse is at the rate to result in the growth you want.
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I hope you have enjoyed these insights. Have a great week and stay growth-focused!