Good meetings are the nerve centers of a good organization. Here are the three meetings every organization should have – and how to make yours better.
Meeting 1 – the Daily Huddle
- Duration: 5 to 15 minutes.
- Purpose: Prepare operations team for the day; share last minute changes; ensure consistent execution
- Key Question: What’s going to prevent perfect execution today, and how do we overcome it?
How to conduct this meeting
Standing in a circle, follow this agenda:
- Team Victory – what’s one good thing that happened yesterday, either in or because of our group? (1 minute)
- Result Metrics from yesterday – report the same 1-3 key numbers every single day. These should be posted visibly nearby. (1 minute)
- What are the last minute changes that will impact us today (absent coworker, late change request, supplier shortage) and how will we adjust? (2-10 minutes)
- Is anybody stuck or needing help from the team? (1 minute) If complex, take it offline.
Ground rules –
- No detailed problem solving. If it’s complicated, take it into a problem solving meeting outside this huddle.
- No stories. If Fred is absent, don’t give us a long story about why he’s absent. If you’re stuck, don’t give us a story about why you’re stuck, or how sorry you are, or all the things you tried.
Additional reading is here.
Meeting 2 – the Weekly Staff Meeting
- Duration: 30 to 60 minutes.
- Purpose: Make decisions, get closure on last week’s assignments, and make new assignments that move the firm’s priorities forward
- Key Question: Remembering our 1-2 most important priorities this quarter, how will we move them forward in the coming week?
How to conduct this meeting
Sitting facing each other, follow this agenda:
- Personal Victories – what’s one good thing that happened in each person’s life, either work or personal, that they’d like to share? (30 seconds each)
- Result Metrics from last week – report the same 1-3 key numbers every week, based on this quarter’s focus. These should be posted visibly in the room or handed out or displayed on a screen. (2-3 minutes)
- Closure on last week’s action items – are they done? If not, what help do you need?
- What problems or learning have we encountered since the last meeting? For each problem, either solve it in the room or delegate to a team to solve it and report back. For learning, summarize the lesson and show where it’s documented and which processes have been changed. (2-10 minutes each)
- What next steps do we need to take on this quarter’s focus areas? Who will do what by when? (10-20 minutes)
- What’s one thing you appreciate about a teammate – something they did (in the meeting or over the prior week) that you would like to acknowledge? (30 seconds each)
- Adjourn early or on time.
- After the meeting, distribute the Action Items (the list of Who will do What by When) within 24 hours.
Meeting 3 – the Weekly One-on-Ones
- Duration: 25 to 30 minutes.
- Purpose: Build relationship with your direct reports, grow their skills, help them guide their careers
- Key Question: How has your week been, how have you grown, and what coaching do I need to give you?