Finding Value in Weekly Leadership Meetings

BY DALLAS ROMANOWSKI | for Wilmington Biz | September 1, 2014

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Weekly leadership meetings should provide a forum where department leaders collaborate with each other in an open, candid environment. Providing a weekly checkpoint enables the team to quickly identify issues and create action plans to resolve them. A well-run and thought out leadership meeting provides more efficient communication, as topics or issues that can wait to be addressed at the meeting are handled during this time instead of creating constant, daily interruptions. Leadership meetings also encourage department leaders to work together as a team to improve each department’s performance.

These weekly meeting should not last longer than 90 minutes. Placing a timeline on the meeting will force the team to prioritize issues and resolve them efficiently. If the meeting agenda can be accomplished in less time, you should end the meeting early, not add fillers or extending the meeting to fit the time. Most companies can complete the majority of meetings in 45 minutes or less.

To make best use of everyone’s time, the agenda for the meeting should include:

  1. Best Thing (1 business/1 personal). 5 to 10 minutes. Purpose is to start the meeting off on the right note. Avoid tangents.
  2. Company News. 5 to 10 minutes. Share important client, employee, supplier or industry news.
  3. Department Scorecard. 5 minutes. Department leads share their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the previous week. If a KPI falls below expectations, add to the issue list.
  4. Action Plan Review. 5 to 10 minutes. Department leads provide a status update on action plans (On-Track or Off-Track). If off-track, add this to the issue list and avoid diving in until all issues have been prioritized.
  5. Issues. 10 to 65 minutes. If department leads have issues or action plans that need input, they are put on the table for discussion. The meeting facilitator should be the company’s Integrator (more commonly known as a Chief Operating Officer or General Manager).  The facilitator will prioritize the issues and open them up for discussion (it is important to avoid tangent conversations that don’t solve the issue.) The team creates action plans to solve the issue. The integrator adds the action plans to the next week’s meeting agenda.
  6. Meeting Wrap-Up. 5 minutes. The integrator summarizes action plans and adds assignments to the next week’s meeting agenda.
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