The Strategist

Three types of meetings your company needs

10/05/2017 - 11:55

Meetings are an important element in the team management. But collective meetings can become a burden if a company does not understand how to hold them. Patrick Lencioni highlights three basic types of meetings and explains which issues should be discussed.

Meeting No 1: Five minutes daily 

Such meetings are not suitable for all organizations. However, if you manage to implement daily five-minute sessions, they can become a very powerful tool. It is useful to understand their meaning even for those who cannot hold such short gatherings.

Participants gather every morning and, not even sitting down, report their affairs for the day. The purpose of such a daily reconciliation is to ensure that the team clearly understands what their priorities are and how the team is performing in a regular mode. This quick discussion guarantees that nothing will be lost during the day and no one will step on each other's feet.

At the same time daily five-minute sessions can be inconvenient for many organizations, especially if participants work in different places and time zones. Of course, you can hold a similar phone meeting, but arranging them at any cost is not always reasonable.

One of the most common difficulties in implementing daily five-minute sessions is to get participants to stick to them regularly so that they enter a routine. Employees are extremely easy to lobby cancellation of such meetings without giving them a chance. To overcome this stage, one must be consistent with respect to the time and place of the meetings. In addition, it is extremely important not to cancel them, even if only two participants come.

Quite often it is difficult to confine yourself to five minutes. If a meeting slightly exceeds the time limit due to informal communication, this is not bad. However, it is impossible to delay work every morning due to the fact that participants are trying to deal with topics that need to be discussed at the weekly tactical meeting.

Meeting No. 2: Weekly Tactical Meetings

Each team needs regular meetings focused exclusively on urgent tactical problems. In fact, the frequency is not that important, and you may hold then once a week or two.

Weekly tactical meetings should last forty-five minutes to an hour and a half depending on frequency of their conduct. Besides, such sessions should include a number of critical elements, including the following:

Blitz. This is a quick report, during which each participant briefly tells about two or three of their priorities for a week. Everyone must meet one minute and quickly describe what he has to do.

Review of performance. The next key element of weekly tactical meetings is a report on the most important parameters and data: revenue, costs, customer satisfaction, material reserves, and so on. Of course, its content will depend on the industry and the situation in the organization. The point is to develop the habit of doing an overview of activities with key parameters for success (but not all possible ones). There can be four to six such items. The review should not take more than five minutes, even if you take into account short explanatory questions.

A real-time agenda. When the blitz and review of the results of activities are completed (usually it takes no more than fifteen minutes), you move to discussing agenda. Contrary to popular opinion, agenda for weekly tactical meetings should not be prepared in advance, but only after the blitz and the report on the results. This makes sense, because it should be based on real current concerns of the team and the company's performance in relation to the goals set, rather than on the presenter's assumptions two days before the meeting.

Meeting No. 3: Monthly strategic meetings

This is the most interesting and in many ways the most important variety of meetings in any team. And also, it is the most entertaining. Strategic meetings make people scratch their heads, analyze, debatу and solve critical issues (just a few) that will fundamentally affect the company. Monthly strategic meetings allow managers to dive into one or two topics, not worrying about time and immediate problems.

Duration of strategic meetings varies depending on topics under consideration, but it is better to allocate at least two hours for each, so that it is more convenient to engage in open conversation and debate.

Frequency of such meetings is not as important as regularity, because they will be able to carry critical strategic issues that arise at the weekly tactical meeting in this case.

Companies spend a lot of time on collective meetings. Improving the its effectiveness will enable people, managing organizations and collectives not only to enhance their performance, but also to positively influence people's lives, including your own.

based on “Death by Meeting” by Patrick Lencioni

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