Almost every department in every organization has some form of weekly meeting. Most weekly meetings, even among senior management, are spent on status reports. Each executive lists off all the things they’ve been working on or have accomplished in the previous week while their peers either think about what they’re going to say when its their turn or focus their attention on what they’ll do when this meeting is over. The CEO is hearing valuable information, but almost no one else is. For 6 executives, an hour of salaries plus benefits adds up to close to $2000, for what benefit to the company?
So, how do we fix this?
- Cancel your weekly meeting.
Wait, wait, how can we cancel the weekly meeting if that’s when the CEO finding out what’s going on?
- Create a simple visual scoreboard that lists each of the top priorities for the company for this quarter. Each item should have the name of the accountable executive next to it. Each week, that executive puts a color next to that priority. Green means on track. Yellow means starting to slip, or in danger of missing. Red means serious danger of missing, or needs serious new resources. Every week the CEO can look at this scoreboard to see which executive she needs a meeting with. On 4/12, it’s JF. On 4/19, it’s RB. And so on.
- Now you’re ready to have a weekly meeting again. I’ll cover weekly meetings in more detail in another post, but for our purposes here, make sure you have a 30 minute block each week for collective intelligence. Rotate through the company priorities. The accountable executive should come prepared with a presentation (less than 5 minutes) to let everyone know where that priority stands. The rest of the time is for questions and feedback from the entire team.
If you stop at step 1 or 2, you’ll still be better off than you are today, so go ahead, cancel your weekly meeting!