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Team meetings will buy your freedom

Article written by Luke Dillon (ActionCOACH Business Coach – Nottingham Road, KwaZulu-Natal)

One of the most valuable systems you can implement in an organisation is a steady rhythm. This creates the pulse that your team works to, which in turn creates the steady pulse your organisation needs to thrive. How do you create this?  

One way to do this is to regularly set up scheduled meetings with your team/s at regular intervals. These meetings will range in time from 15 minutes to four hours depending on the purpose of the meeting. The meetings are set up annually in advance and added to everyone’s calendar schedules.   

When you look at your team and organisation, what are the key outcomes you are chasing in line with your Vision, 1-year and 3-year goals?   

These are some of the meetings that are invaluable within an organisation irrespective of size; they may need to be split up per division or team.  

Stand-Up or Daily Meeting 

Regularity: Daily  

Purpose: Connecting the team, sharing news and progress. Raise any blocks or hurdles.  

Who: The whole team (Or divisional teams)   

How long: Maximum 15 minutes.  

This connects you with your team daily for a 15-minute stand–up to share good news and progress, to stay focused, and most importantly, to share where you are stuck or blocked. This meeting is based on the Agile framework for businesses. Each team member can have the opportunity to run the session. It requires each team member to commit to what they are working on that day and what they have achieved the previous day – ‘What I’ve done and what I’m doing.’ It builds accountability and keeps the team up to date. The purpose of keeping people standing is to create focus.   

Weekly meeting 

Regularity: Weekly  

Purpose: Tactical  

Who: Management or executive team  

How long: 1 hour or less  

This meeting should ideally be set for a Monday straight after the ‘Stand-Up’ meeting if your management team is different from your ‘Stand-Up’ team, if not this would replace ‘Stand-Up’ on that day. The purpose of this meeting is to ensure you are tracking your required progress and moving towards your goal, to then discuss any blocks or problems, and agree on a way forward, and to commit to what will be achieved that week. Limited to one hour. Each team leader would give feedback during the opening 15 minutes followed by problem resolution. It has a standard agenda. 24 hours before the meeting, everyone receives updates on the previous weekly meeting agreements and the company’s metrics.  

Monthly meeting 

Regularity: Monthly  

Purpose: 90-Day Plan  

Who: Management or executive team  

How long: 2 hours or less  

This meeting will replace the weekly meeting for the leadership team in the final week of the month. This is a great comprehensive check-in with your leadership team and a great opportunity to build team strength by recognising victories. This meeting focuses the team on the 90-day plan and highlights any challenges where a goal may not be achieved.   

You might have separate monthly meetings with your head of marketing, sales, HR, operations and finance, etc.  

Monthly Meeting 2 

Regularity: Monthly  

Purpose: whole company  

Who: Everyone  

How long: 1 hour or less  

Great opportunity to embed the company’s values and recognise team players at every level of the organisation that are adding value. It updates everyone on the achievements towards the strategic quarterly goals and highlights where the focus needs to be driven. Helps your team leaders down the line with their leadership too.  

Quarterly Meeting 

Regularity: Quarterly  

Purpose: Confirm strategy, plan & 90-day execution  

Who: Management or executive team  

How long: 4 hours or less  

Each team leader sends in key points on the standard agenda 72 hours before the meeting. This is a review of what is working, what isn’t, and what needs attention. A quarterly S.W.O.T analysis and quarterly financial view are looked at. Is your vision, strategy, and execution still aligned?  

Annual Meeting   

Regularity: Annual  

Purpose: Strategic Planning Meeting  

Who: Management or executive team  

How Long: 2 days off-site  

This is the key session with your management team annually. It is used for a retrospective for the year that was, and how you tracked against the goals set for the business. It will then set the goals and strategy for the year ahead. It will allow each divisional head to address the whole team and present their results and metrics and plan for the year ahead. Each team leader will have a one-year plan, which will tie into the Managing Director or CEO’s one-year plan.  

Try this for a year or even a 90-day period, there may be some resistance initially if your team is not used to meetings, but if you set the pace and have an easy agenda to follow then it will build a great rhythm.   

Make it happen!  

ActionCOACH is a proud Partner of the NSBC