Meetings. The mention of the word can conjure up thoughts of wasted time, money and energy. But that needn’t be the case. Depending on how you structure your meetings, they can not only be faster and more efficient, they can also be extremely helpful in building and maintaining momentum in your company. Putting a meeting schedule into effect on a company and department wide level focuses attention where it is needed the most. This in turn helps to prioritise the ‘musts’ and ‘nice-to-haves.’
Here are 3 proven meeting formats that have been proven to work:
- Monthly problem solving meetings
Your monthly meeting should be about 90 mins long and aimed at reviewing key performance as well as solving important issues that have arisen. Ideally, it would involve company leaders with each leader reporting on the company priorities they are responsible for and the status of those priorities. This is the time to deal with any issues that have arisen since the previous monthly meeting. It is the optimum time to establish, discuss and solve issues that have arisen since the previous monthly meeting. It is the optimum time to establish, discuss and solve issues whilst enabling your department heads to manage and liaise with their own teams on the details. Assigning regular, dedicated times to deal with issues improves efficiency and ‘firefighting’ scenarios are reduced.
- The Quarterly Alignment Meeting
Naturally, this would be a lengthier meeting where you would review results from the previous 90 days. Any goals that had been set in the previous quarterly meeting would be revisited and their status reviewed. This would assist in determining what the next quarter’s priorities need to be. It’s also the best time to identify, discuss and solve and problems that are hindering the company’s progress.
- The Big One
The Annual Planning Meeting. In an ideal world, this would involve the entire company. In reality, it’s unlikely that you’ll get the entire company together. In which case, you should at least get the entire leadership team together to go over the previous year’s priorities and results with a view to establishing long term goals for the upcoming year. Once you have set our goals and targets for the year, select 3-5 priorities to focus on for the first quarter and determine accountability and success measurements for each priority. This meeting should also incorporate and budgetary allocations for important marketing tools and activities. Setting aside a budget that facilitates the achievement of your marketing goals means you will avoid having to make tough decisions about what stays and what goes later in the year.
Having a meeting agenda that is structured means your team will know what to expect throughout the year and keep discussions aimed at your top priorities. A decided focus on solving issues instead of discussing them will turn your team into the efficient, problem solving machine you need them to be.
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