Boring, ineffective meetings are the bane of the vast majority of executive’s lives. It is confounding why otherwise highly functioning and intelligent individuals, when gathered for a team meeting, become highly ineffective.
At the heart of great meetings is truly great issue solving. Follow these 3 steps and your team will consistently have great meetings that actually solve the most critical issues facing the business.
1. Follow the Level 10 Meeting™ Agenda
The EOS® Level 10 Meeting™ Agenda has radically transformed the meeting effectiveness of thousands of leadership teams. Follow it consistently, and you will be amazed. A Level 10 Meeting™ occurs weekly for 90 minutes on the same day, at the same time, begins and ends on time and uses the following agenda:
Segue (5 minutes)
- Transition into the meeting by sharing some personal good news or highlights.
Reporting (20 minutes)
Set the stage for the rest of the meeting by gaining a quick update on the most important areas of the business:
- Scorecard – the 5 to 10 most important measurables that give you an absolute pulse on the business
- Rocks – are your quarterly priorities “on” or “off” track?
- Customer & Employee Headlines – is there a high-level headline the entire team should be aware of about a customer or employee?
- To-Dos – are the 7-day action items agreed upon during last week’s Level 10 Meeting™ done?
Resist the temptation to beginning discussing or solving any issues that arise in the Reporting section. Instead, use the phrase “drop it down” to indicate you believe a certain reporting item is potentially worthy of IDS-ing, by adding it to the Issues List.
Issues Solving (60 minutes)
Pull up your Issues List, which is simply a running list of all the issues facing the business. Prioritize the 1, 2, & 3 most important issues to tackle first.
Follow the Issues Solving Track™ (IDS™)
- “I” – Identify the root cause. The team should first identify the root cause of the issue. The team needs to agree the root cause has been identified before moving on to the next part. Sometimes there are multiple root causes – if so, drop those additional root causes down as additional issues.
- “D” – Discuss how to make the root cause of the issue go away forever. Brainstorm all the potential solves. But when the conversation starts to become redundant, move on to the solve.
- “S” – Solve the root cause. The team shouldn’t move off the issue at hand until agreeing on the solve. Write it down as this improves agreement in the moment and provides a record of how the issue was solved.
Conclude (5 minutes)
The meeting ends with:
- Cascading Messages – is there any information that needs to be cascaded to the rest of the organization?
- Recap To-Dos – due at next week’s Level 10 Meeting™
- Rate the meeting – on a 1 to 10 scale, 10 being best. Ask for feedback for any score less than 8, so as the team can learn in real time how to have a better meeting next time.
Note: Level 10 Meetings work most effectively when fully implementing EOS®.
2. Remain fanatical about “I-D-S”
By following the agenda above, and by recognizing it will take time and intentionality to improve, your team will eventually have consistently truly great meetings. But the area where the meeting agenda is most likely to break down is the IDS portion. Teams quickly fall back into their old, bad habits of discussing the heck out of issues, never solving the issue at the root, and then moving on to another issue. Team members need to hold each other accountable to purely follow the IDS discipline for each and every issue.
3. “Who, Who, One-Sentence”
For teams that follow I-D-S and still feel like they are not truly solving a given issue, the following approach should be used:
- “Who” – identify the person who added the issue to the issues list.
- “Who” – have that person say who the issue needs to be addressed to.
- “One sentence” – have the person who added the issue concisely identify the root cause in one sentence to the person the issue needs to be addressed to.
This “Who-Who-One Sentence” approach expedites the issues solving, helping teams more quickly zero in on what the real issue is, and who the people most closely connected to the issue are.
- If your internal meeting are boring and/or ineffective utilize the 3 tips above and your team’s meetings will improve dramatically.
- Visit navigatethejourney.com and Schedule A Call with Tom Barrett to discuss how help companies implement EOS® and cascade Level 10 Meetings throughout the organization.
About The Author
Tom Barrett is a Professional EOS Implementer™ and the CEO of Navigate the Journey, a Nashville based firm that specializes in helping entrepreneurs get what they want from their business and life.