Business in Vancouver, Ask the Expert: How do I keep meetings focused?

Here’s a possible framework to structure weekly team meetings within your business and keep them on track and worth attending.

  • Personal update: everyone shares the good, bad and ugly of what’s going on with them. This helps explain everyone’s context and helps build trust.
  • Top three: have everyone in the room state the top three things they’re focused on over the next week.
  • Stuck points: have everyone list what the key thing is that’s holding them back. It can be resources, health, time, people, information, technology – anything.
  • Top three to five metrics: the core numbers, financial and non-financial, that you as a team need to watch weekly. Think of these as the “canary in the coal mine” helping you to forecast what’s going to happen.
  • Build the agenda: after hearing all the above, decide which three to five items need the collective brain power in the room to tackle. Items that don’t make that cut can most likely be dealt with offline.
  • Rank the agenda and dive in: go through the items on the agenda and rank them in order of priority. That way if you run out of time at least you’ve tackled the biggest opportunities and challenges.
  • Accountabilities, decisions and communications: have everyone who is responsible for an action list out their understanding of it, along with the timeline and who they need to communicate outcomes to.
  • Good news: offer the chance to share any good news that the rest of the team might not be aware of.
  • Appreciations, difficulties and closing statements: before heading back out, have everyone share an appreciation, difficulty and any closing statements.

After a month or two of using this format, you really start to see the leverage you can create.

BIV Boardroom Strategy – Ask the Experts – Oct 23, 2012

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