How To Make Meetings Productive
18 November 2022
The Key To Better Meetings
Insights from 'The Advantage' by Patrick Lencioni
Let's face it, most of us hate meetings.
Meetings can be boring, unfocused, wasteful, and frustrating.
But what if there was a better way to have meetings?
One of the main problems with meetings is that leaders try to resolve too many types of issues in one sitting.
They mix administrative, into one big meeting.
In the book The Advantage, Lencioni suggests that the solution to bad meetings is to hold different types of meetings for different types of issues.
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He asserts there are four types of meetings that a healthy organization should have.
The first type of meeting is the daily check-in.
These are 5-to-10-minute meetings just to touch base and share information.
There should never be an agenda or extensive discussion in these meetings.
The main benefit of the daily check-in is that you can resolve minor issues that would otherwise distract your team throughout the week.
It's much more productive to solve small problems with a short conversation than with multiple emails.
The second type of meeting is a tactical staff meeting.
45-to-90-minute meetings where your leadership team sits down to address the most important issues of the week.
Lencioni suggests that tactical staff meetings should have real-time agendas instead of pre-planned agendas.
At the beginning of the meeting, have everyone list their main issues for the week and then prioritize the issues as a group.
This way, you'll only be spending time on issues that are truly important to the group.
The third type of meeting is an ad-hoc topical meeting.
These are 2-to-4-hour meetings where your team digs into critical strategic issues that will affect your organization in the long run, like a new competitive threat or a major change in your industry.
It's important for these meetings to be long enough to allow for debate, clarification, and resolution.
Most organizations will find that they need to hold at least one ad-hoc topical meeting per month.
Finally, the fourth type of meeting is the quarterly offsite review.
These are the 1-to-2-day offsite meetings to review your organization as a whole.
The idea of these meetings is to take a step back, review the big picture, and gain a fresh perspective on your organization, your operations, and your teams.
Adopting these four types of meetings can have an immediate impact on your organization's productivity.
You may spend more time in meetings by splitting issues up like this, but your meetings will be much more focused, effective, and enjoyable.
The Advantage is a great guide to improving your organization's health.
If you want to maximize your business' human potential and align your organization around a shared set of principles, this book gives you the tools and the techniques to do so and I highly recommend it.
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