Having world-class, rock-solid weekly meetings will make a difference in achieving your goals this year, as well as saving you time and building team health. While this may seem a boring topic with little sizzle, it is the one discipline that is the moment of truth for leadership teams (departmental teams as well).
I ask you suspend disbelief and humor me for a brief five minutes as I intend to convince you.
Picture your team in the following weekly meeting:
The Level 10 Weekly Meeting
Your leadership team comes together every week, on the same day, at the same time and with the same agenda.
Segue (good news) - 5 Minutes
The meeting starts on time - what a concept (if you start all of your meetings five minutes late, that's 2000 minutes wasted annually for a team of five people ... do the math) - with a quick sharing of personal and business good news (this is a great segue and builds team health).
Reporting- 15 Minutes
From there, you report on the three most important items in your business: (1) your numbers being on track (Scorecard - containing a handful of weekly activity-based numbers), (2) your quarterly priorities being on track (Rocks - the three to seven most important objectives for the company and each individual), and (3) your customers and employees being happy (quick headlines so everyone is in the loop regarding people).
To-Do List - 5 Minutes
From there, you review your To-Do List to make sure that every action item from last week's meeting was accomplished. As a rule of thumb, 90 percent of to-do's should drop off every week; if not, there is something wrong somewhere. You will get at least 100 percent increase in productivity from this one simple discipline; we are human beings and we need to be held accountable. To-do's are baked right into the agenda.
Issues Solving - 60 Minutes
You then go to the magic of the weekly meeting. This is where you solve all of the relevant issues for the week. You first have everyone take a quick pause to think about and add any issues to the list, which already includes any issues from last week's meeting that you couldn't get to and the issues you added from the above reporting-numbers, Rocks and people issues. The issues are baked right into the agenda.
You then quickly decide on the three most important issues by picking 1, 2, and 3 (never start at the top and work your way down). Start with issue number one and IDS it. Click here for the Issues Solving Track (IDS).
The owner of the issue quickly identifies the issue (hitting the nerve/root or looking into the eyes of the person who created the issue or who is responsible for solving it). Once identified, everyone then discusses the issue, only once because discussing it more than once is politicking, and when everything is on the table, you then move to solve. You then capture the conclusion as an action item on the To-Do List with the owner's initials and move onto issue number two. Work through the Issues List in this fashion until there are five minutes left in the meeting. In some meetings, you will only solve one issue, in some meetings, you will solve ten-that's okay as long as you are taking them in order of priority. On average, however, you should be solving five to ten issues per week.
Conclude - 5 Minutes
With five minutes left in the meeting, you then conclude with three things: (1) Decide if there are any cascading messages to share with anyone else in the organization based on what you discussed and solved in the meeting, (2) recap the to-do's and (3) rate the meeting on a scale of 1-10. You should always be averaging an 8 or better. Where it's not an 8, this gives you an opportunity to self-correct by asking what would have made it an 8 or better.
Doing this meeting both as a leadership team and departmentally will improve communication, solve problems, and help you gain more traction. You will accomplish more in 2013 as a result. In my experience, the 90 minutes you spend each week saves each leader two to three times that amount of time in avoided train wrecks, miscommunication, and the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing. It's a time-management tool (departmental meetings are typically customized and shorter than 90 minutes).
Click here to download the Level 10 meeting agenda and also read pages 189 through 197 in Traction for a deeper recap of the Level 10 meeting.