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Run an Effective Weekly Meeting

Posted by Douglas Wick on Mon, Aug 15, 2011

Do we really need another weekly meeting?

The answer to this question is you don’t.  Certainly you don’t if your company doesn’t have any priorities.  You don’t if your company doesn’t have any metrics to measure to keep your people accountable to their priorities.  And you certainly don’t need a weekly meeting if your company always gets every bit of information on customer feedback and issues that occur with your employees.  If no one ever gets stuck and needs help solving recurring problems or has issues that might be helped with the collective intelligence of the group.

Certainly you don’t need another meeting that is rife with boring non directional information and resolutions.

But that’s not what a weekly meeting is for. Growth meetings resized 600

Weekly meetings should first be with your executive team.  They can cascade down or up from there to departments and teams throughout your company.  However the executive team weekly meeting is a must.  

Of course this is only if your company has decided on objectives for the quarter.  You and your team has determined what the top 3-5 priorities are for the quarter, assigned accountability and have established metrics and success criteria for each priority.  Without these elements in place there probably is no reason to meet weekly. 

Weekly meetings work because of the resulting behavior associated with Pearson’s Law which we’ve discussed in this blog several times [Pearson’s Law Revisited, You Can’t Measure What I Do – Measuring Performance and Pearson’s Law – When it Doesn’t Work]

Here’s the structure Positioning Systems Strategic Discipline recommends for weekly meetings:

Weekly Agenda – 30 - 60 minutes

5 Minutes -              Good News.   Everyone share two good news stories from past week, one personal one business.  Make sure everyone participates.                       

5-10 Minutes -         The Numbers – Review everyone’s individual or team weekly measures of productivity.  Eliminate conversation, just report the outcome, best if you can provide the results graphically.  [Reports, charts, etc.]

10 Minutes -            Customer and Employee Data.    What or where are the recurring issues or concerns that the team or its customers are facing day in and day out.  Choose one issue, assign a person or small group to explore and get to the root cause of it.

10 Minutes -            Review Accountabilities and Commitments.  Review and update accountabilities from last meetings and from quarterly planning.  Reschedule where necessary and make commitments to complete accountabilities for next meeting.

10–30 Minutes -        Collective Intelligence.  This should focus on a rock – a large priority.  Get everyone’s input and drill into one of your big issues.  Make a presentation on one of your rocks with the person accountable leading it.

One Phrase Closes   - Everyone delivers a word or phrase about how they feel about the meeting.

Keep a Log -            Record who said they would do what, when.

For those of you who don’t feel your company needs quarterly priorities and metrics to keep your team accountable to reaching them, you can skip the monthly meeting too!  For the rest of you I’ll be discussing the monthly meeting, success criteria, and dashboards in my next blog. 

Topics: Accountability, weekly meetings, priorities, Pearsons Law, metrics

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The Strategic Discipline Blog focuses on small to midsize business owners with a ravenous appetite to improve his or her leadership skills and business results.

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