Let’s look at the three types of meetings that will help you establish the vital few from the unproductive many.
In order to make your meetings as useful as possible, working to a strict agenda and time is the best way to execute this, and none are better than the 30-60 minute sync meeting. It can be used for leaders to update and hear from managers, for project teams to stay connected, or for department level meetings and the agenda usually consists of:
- Scorecard / KPI review (5 mins) – a quick review of the most important numbers in your business that tell you instantly whether a project or department is on or off track.
- Action register review (5 mins) – an update on any actions from the last meeting to ensure the meeting drives real change and hold accountability of attendees.
- Leader update (5 mins) – whoever is leading the meeting and the team in the meeting provides an update on business critical items.
- Attendee update (1 min each) – attendees provide a 1 minute update on core priorities & project updates.
- Wrap up & action cascade (2 mins) – the leader of the meeting wraps up with the agreed actions so everyone is clear on next steps.
This process, when executed correctly, aligns everyone on the same page, and saves huge amounts of time usually spent in one to one catch ups.
In the iconic book the “One Minute Manager” you will meet an effective manager who gets big results in very little time – and it’s all down to his conversations with his team.
Catch ups with team members often go off track, and while the intention is good, they often become a drain on time, and lack the impact desired.
In between more formal team meetings, one minute course corrections are really effective in keeping your team on track, two examples of this are:
One minute performance correction
A useful technique to use is to look at performance in behavioural terms – what behaviour do you need to see that enables you to determine whether someone is performing at a high level?
Essentially you are looking at what was expected, i.e. the positive behaviour, versus what you are observing i.e. the negative behaviour. A problem only exists if there is a difference between what is actually happening and what you desire to be happening.
One minute praising
Catching your team doing things right and immediately recognising them is the best way to reinforce positive behaviour in order to drive more of the same & up level your team across the board.
Decision Making Meetings
The decision making processes in your business directly impact the levels of ownership and autonomy of your team. As a general rule – decision making should lie closest to the person with the most information, versus who has more hierarchical power. So as an example, if you have someone doing customer service and they are an expert in that area, you may want to give them more decision making authority than their manager who isn’t as close to the day to day.
When looking at the types of meetings in your business, decision making is one example where it can often be easier to get people in one room together versus emails back and forth between a lot of people. When running a decision making meeting the following agenda often works well:
- What’s the proposal?
- Who owns the ultimate decision?
- What are everyone’s thoughts? *this can be useful to gather on email prior to the meeting to avoid “piggybacking” on the most senior person’s opinion
- Does anyone object?
- What are the next steps?
If you feel you are spending too long in unproductive meetings, consider the three approaches above, where could you streamline accordingly in your business?