Executive teams around the globe, in companies large and small, and spanning a variety of industries, are stuck in a routine of weekly status meetings. Whether to bring the CEO and executives up to speed on outstanding projects and priorities, or to get teams working cohesively as one, roughly 70 to 80 percent of status meetings are spent on just that – status. The issue in this is not only a lack of action, but also a huge lack of added value.
True, a clear line of communication is crucial to keeping everyone in the loop on important issues, but the bottom line is this – CEOs, executives and employees alike attend status meetings each week because it’s required of them, not because they find value in the time spent. Status meetings are an important part of team functionality, but they don’t always help get real work done.
As a CEO, the time you spend with your executive teams can be key to achieving corporate goals, and can also be far more valuable if each boring status meeting is replaced with a weekly adjustment meeting to maximize effectiveness. A weekly adjustment meeting is more than just status; rather, adjustment meetings are focused on the future of the organization and how the team can adjust their daily, weekly and monthly activities to achieve short- and long-term success. Status meetings can paint a decent picture of what has already happened or is currently happening inside an organization, but lacks any solution or means for improvement.
As opposed to a status meeting, where individuals simply present updates to one another, an adjustment meeting involves the entire team contributing ideas and working together to come up with solutions to achieve the company plan. Typical status meetings tend to look backwards and report on the past while adjustment meetings look forward and forecast the future. The purpose of your weekly adjustment meeting is to review what each team is working on and share if anything is or will be off track. In addition, by determining and discussing why a priority isn’t on target, teams are able to put together an appropriate plan of attack to complete each task.
In order to get the most out of your weekly adjustment meeting, try using the following recommended agenda:
- Prepare for the meeting. Get in the habit of spending about five minutes prior to each adjustment meeting to prepare what should be discussed.
- Begin with a round of good news. Whether personal or pertaining to the company, starting each meeting on a positive note will lend to a more positive and productive meeting.
- Discuss solutions for priorities and projects that are off-track. There’s nothing wrong with losing focus – it happens to the best of us! Use this time with your executive teams to realign your objectives and form cohesive strategies to get back on track.
- Share your ‘week in sync’ note. As the CEO, the success of the organization ultimately falls upon your shoulders. Take a moment or two before closing each adjustment meeting to share your personal plan for the week, so that executives are aware of the tasks and goals you hope to complete before you meet with them again.
- Review action items. Take special note of items that may be overdue or have the team stuck and come up with strategic plans for completing each.
- Get feedback. Listening to employee, executive and client feedback is crucial to making the proper adjustments for success.
Weekly adjustment meetings give true substance and strategy to mundane status meetings. A successful adjustment meeting can completely reenergize the executive team while moving the company closer to meeting both quarterly and annual goals.
Patrick Thean is the CEO and co-founder of Rhythm Systems, a cloud-based strategy execution software platform that facilitates airtight execution and measurability for mid-market CEOs. A serial entrepreneur, bestselling author and frequent speaker, Patrick is best known for helping companies accelerate their growth by focusing on great execution.