Meetings Are a Beating

July 23rd, 2013  | 

Published in Accountability, Problem Solving

In a private workshop I conducted recently for a manufacturing company, the 22 front-line supervisors said their team meetings had started with such promise then hit a wall after three months.

Their meetings were a beating.

There are three types of meetings: 1) Information sharing, 2) Problem-solving and 3) Commitment building to drive accountability.

The supervisors decided their meetings would focus on problem-solving and then serve as a mechanism to hold one another accountable.

7 Business Meeting Tips

The structure for an effective 60-minute problem-solving meeting borrows from the approach I use in my monthly Vistage meetings with CEOs and Key Executives:

  1. To start the meeting, each person has 60 seconds to articulate a near-term problem or opportunity.
  2. The group votes on the two most significant issues described to solve together.
  3. The problem or opportunity is phrased as ‘How do I…” or “How do we…”
  4. Clarifying questions are asked for up to 15 minutes to ensure everyone understands the issue.
  5. Actions for solving the problem or pursuing the opportunity are recommended.
  6. Actions the person with the issue commits to taking are recorded.
  7. At the next meeting, progress is measured against the original commitment.

In a 60-minute meeting, you can typically work two issues for about 20 minutes per issue.

The result: You’ve solved a problem, reduced frustration and increased morale and performance.

About the Author: Greg Bustin advises leaders of some of the world’s most admired companies, and he’s dedicated a career to working with CEOs and the leadership teams of hundreds of companies in a range of industries. He’s facilitated more than 200 strategic planning sessions, and he’s delivered more than 500 keynotes and workshops on five continents. His fifth leadership book—How Leaders Decide: A Timeless Guide to Making Tough Choices—examines 52 of history’s greatest triumphs and tragedies and debuted in April as the #1 new historical reference book on Amazon.


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