Well, it’s Monday and that means it’s time to once again to assemble your team of business leaders to discuss the happenings of the prior seven days and prepare for the critical events of the coming week.
You surely have a list of items you need to discuss. Logically, you solicited agenda items from the attendees as well. The agenda is projected on the screen for all to see and yet another weekly meeting begins.
Sound familiar? Sound boring? Repetitive? I agree!
How much more effective could your weekly meetings be? If this next meeting had but one agenda item – list things that could be done to improve this meeting – what do you think would make the list? Don’t worry… I went ahead and started a list for you because that’s my job as a Boardroom Metrics Advisor. Here are four ways you can improve your weekly meetings:
- Assign Roles – There are several important roles for these meeting that will improve the flow and tempo each week. Each role can be a permanent assignment (my preference) or they can float from person to person for variety.
– Parking Lot Attendant – This is critical! The lot attendant must constantly monitor the conversation and ensure the meeting stays on-subject. If the meeting gets off-track, the lot attendant calls it out and logs the subject so it can be addressed at the end of the meeting if time permits. Then the meeting goes back to the agenda. You will not believe how much time and frustration your lot attendant saves your team in a year!
– Time Keeper – This important person monitors the time and reminds everyone of the time remaining in the meeting and if we’re getting behind. This prevents that awkward moment when you realize the meeting is almost over and there are several agenda items remaining. Your agenda should list the anticipated number of minutes expected for each item, establishing expectation. Setting an example of effective time management will stress its importance to your team.
– Action Item Manager – Have you ever wondered if everyone did what they said they’d do a meeting or two ago? The AIM is very important as they assure accountability. Anytime an action item is identified in a meeting, this person logs it with ownership. At the end of the meeting, this list is reviewed. Then the AIM send out the action list immediately afterward. Each meeting starts with a review of all open action items from previous meetings. This is a game changer!
- KPI’s – One regular agenda item should be a review of all relevant Key performance Indicators (or whatever you call them). Every week, have a template section of your agenda populated with all critical performance data and hold yourselves accountable for those numbers. If this is an executive meeting, the sales leader reads off the sales numbers, the COO reports on his/her numbers, etc. This keeps performance at the front of everyone’s mind all week because it is not fun reading off losing numbers every week. If you think the company is losing focus in a particular area, add a KPI that makes it important and you read that number every week until you see the desired improvement. What gets measured, gets done!
- Celebrate – One of my favorite things to do every week is celebrate customer successes from the previous week. Reading feedback letters from delighted customers reinforces the importance of making sure every precious client is happy. If a customer is complaining, everyone would be excited. The best way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to focus on the positive aspects of customer satisfaction by celebrating your successes plus it’s fun to talk about positive results!
- Quality Control – I always meet with each of my reports every week so the first agenda item for my one-to-one meetings is the quality of their participation in the weekly team meeting. This reinforces the importance of being thoroughly prepared for every meeting. Of course, anyone who doesn’t, should not be in the meeting or a position of leadership. I enjoy starting my individual meetings by asking “How do you think you impacted our team meeting Monday morning?” The overall result is meetings that drive action and results.
If you challenge your team to brainstorm for more ideas, you will come up with many more. Try it! You will be surprised by the new ideas that result from dissatisfaction with your current meetings.
The status-quo is the enemy! Take it out back and destroy it.
Making your meetings more efficient and productive will improve your company. Drop me a note and let me know how you make out!
I hope this discussion on making your weekly meetings more effective has you thinking. Best…
“When you’re green, you’re growing’ when you’re ripe, you’re rotten”