Meeting Rhythms

I have written before about the importance of meeting rhythms particularly the daily huddle. A properly sequenced set of meetings are crucial to getting the organisation's flywheel turning and then accelerating.

Often, when I introduce the topic of meetings and meeting rhythms to new clients, I see eyes roll upwards, I get objections like

“We don’t have time for more meetings, we have enough already”

or

"We see everyone every day anyway, why do we all need to be in the same place at the same time?”

Holding a properly sequenced set of meetings, with each meeting at different cycle time and with a different purpose, will actually save you time not cost you time. Your leadership team will have clarity on the vision and the strategy. They will know what the most important things are and what you have to do to achieve them. They will continually be learning and improving and they will know what the issues and blockers are that could derail you from achieving your goals.

So how do you achieve this?

You achieve this by establishing a cadence of meetings, daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually. These meetings all do different things and are designed to support cascading communications around the priorities and continued progress to achieving these priorities.

The Daily Huddle

The daily huddle is a 5 - 15 minute meeting to discuss the tactical issued of the day and to provide updates to the team. The agenda is simple - Whats Up, Metrics, Stucks and Good News. You can read about daily huddles in more detail in one of my previous blog posts.

The Weekly Meeting

So before we go into the details of the weekly meeting, what is this meeting NOT? It is not a status update, that was covered in the daily huddle. If you find you have having to give status updates in the weekly meetings then that is a sign that your daily huddles are not working properly.

So what do you cover in the weekly? Whereas the daily huddle is about synchronisation, getting the team synchronised, this meeting is about focus and collaboration. It is about getting everyone laser focused on the #1 priority that you need to achieve and anything else you need to support achieving it. So you use this time to identify and resolve the most important things. And by resolv, we mean for good! If you find yourself repeatedly addressing the same issues, you are not resolving them and they will continue to chew up your management teams time and the time of the rest of the team.

The meeting should last 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours no more and here is a typical agenda: Five Minutes - Good news, 10 Minutes - A review of the priorities, 30 - 60 minutes - Focused time resolving the one or two most important things that you need to resolve to achieve the priorities, 5 minutes - Who, What When, Capture, summarise and confirm the actions from the the meeting, who is accountable for resolving them and when they are to be resolved by. Finally, a round table to check the pulse of the group with a "One-Phrase" close. This blog post describes weekly meetings in more detail.

The Monthly Meeting

The monthly meeting is about validating the quarterly plan, ensuring that we are on track to meet our quarterly objectives and focusing on 1 - 3 key issues that need to be addressed. As such it normally includes a broader cross section of the organisation including the middle management team.. This focus on learning and solving several issues with a broad team each month gives the company an opportunity to fix 15 - 30 issues so that they do not re-occur and this is a key aspect of ensuring that the business is executing flawlessly.  It normally runs for 2 hours to 1/2 day. See this article for more explanation on how to run Monthly Meetings

The Quarterly Meeting

The quarterly meeting is not surprisingly an opportunity to review progress over the last quarter and to plan for the next quarter. It normally lasts for a full day and will include a review of the strategy and also a refresh of 2 - 3 of the scaling up tools in rotation. This regular review across all the tools ensures that the scaling up framework is kept up to date and fresh in the minds of the leadership team and middle management team. The quarterly priorities and the critical numbers for those priorites are set during this meeting. Here is a more detailed post on how to run quarterly meetings.

The Annual Planning Meeting

The annual planning meeting (also known as the Annual Strategic Planning Workshop) is a full two day session for the entire leadership team. This meeting sets the strategic plan for the next year and also sets the first quarter priorities and critical numbers. It is a deep dive on the organisations strategy and a chance for the leadership team to refresh and realign to the core values, purpose and BHAG. I will be writng a more detailed post on how to run annual planning meetings shortly.

 

Establishing this meeting rythym or cadence is key to successfully executing on your strategy by ensuring your focus stays on the right things.

Posted by : ged | On Monday, 09 January 2017 | Modified On Wednesday, 12 July 2017


 

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