With thanks to the Gazelles Growth Institute for permission to republish this blog
Not to sound like a broken record going on and on about “meetings”, but the importance placed on them simply can’t be overstated. There’s an entire chapter in Verne Harnish’s book dedicated to it (read about the rest of the Rockefeller Habits here). His idea is firm: regular team check-ins are undeniably important.
Verne’s written about daily huddles and how that alone can change your organisation’s environment for the better. In this article, he talks, and goes in-depth, about Weekly Meetings.
Just a quick recap on the 4 different meetings that he encourages every organization to practice:
This might be obvious, as one happens daily and the other weekly, but you’ll be surprised how often the two can intermingle.
The daily huddle is for everyday issues and updates that pop up. You go in, share, and you’re out — this way everyone is informed on what’s happening. You don’t want to go into a weekly meeting trying to address issues that have accumulated over the week.
Weekly Meetings focus on your #1 Priority (which I assume you have set prior) and the big rocks supporting that mission.
In this meeting, you want to tap the collective intelligence of the team for 30 to 60 minutes on one or two important topics. This gives your organisation an opportunity to resolve 50 to 100 important things in a year and bring you closer to your #1 Priority.
So start with daily huddles, because as mentioned previously, this leads to immediate action on many issues that will later clog up weekly meetings. Once you have a good rhythm going with the daily huddles, only then will the weekly meetings be beneficial.
Meetings can run long, and if not executed properly, can be a waste of everyone’s time. So this part’s important: you need to run a right ship. Stay on topic and you’ll finish everything within your hour and a half.
5 minutes: Share good news.
Sharing good news — both professional and personal not only creates a positive start to the meeting, but also lets people connect on a human level with one another.
10 minutes: The priorities.
Review the status of your pre-set priorities and discuss any gaps in progress. Also, review any metrics not reported in the daily huddles.
10 minutes: Customer and employee feedback.
This is the time to review specific feedback from customers and employees. What issues are cropping up day after day? What are people hearing?
NOTE: This first 25 minutes is the warm-up. It allows you to share enough internal and external data to help the team see patterns and trends in the performance of the company. The next 30 to 60 minutes are designated for putting the team’s collective intelligence to work and making important decisions.
30 to 60 minutes: One or two topics.
This is where we get to the crux of the matter. Focus on one or two key topics. You can either pick your topic based on patterns and trends from the daily huddles, progress on your priorities/theme, feedback from your employees and customers, and/or the opportunities and challenges that have surfaced.
Other topics to discuss in this time slot include:
Sometimes it helps to prepare a topic in advance and email it to everyone the night before.
Who, What, When (WWW)
Just before the meeting ends, take a few minutes to summarize, “Who said they are going to do What, and When,” and email the notes to everyone. This makes sure everyone is on the same page.
Finally, close your meeting by asking each person for one word or phrase of reaction that sums up the meeting. This gives you insight to what everyone’s thinking and feeling and if you do sense any lingering issues or conflicts, you can follow-up later.
This step is optional, but CEOs are encouraged to send out a weekly one-pager to all employees updating them on the status of the #1 Priority and other significant developments inside the company and the industry.
It might sound trivial, but employees want to hear from their top leader and appreciate the sense of being informed by this kind of report.