A Meeting Flow
By Doug Spurling
Meetings seem to get a bad rap.
And trust me, I get the meetings that are a complete waste of time (Corporate America style), but when used right, I think it’s one of the best tools for business growth, delegation, and team development.
In our business, we have 7 different types of meeting.
I know, it sounds like a lot, but they all serve a purpose.
Now, just like any post here, you need to be able to take the goodies out of this and tweak it to your business because we’re all at different stages.
So, here are the 7 different meetings we have, how they’re structured, the benefits of them, and how you can fit it into your business.
Annual Planning Meeting
It all starts with this.
Once a year we get together as a team and we plan out the entire next year.
We go over our vision and what are our values (another post for another day).
We make sure everyone is on the same ship with the reason why the company exists.
Then we take a look at our 3-year goals.
These are probably a little fluffy because they’re 3 years out, but they are certainly beneficial.
Basically, as a team, we ask ourselves what does the business want to look like in 3 years?
How many team members?
Big projects/changes, etc?
It all starts with this.
After we set the 3 years, we take each of those and reverse engineer it down to a 1-year goal.
And that is the real point of this annual meeting, leave with really SMART goals for the next year.
It sounds like a lot, but as you get a few under your belt, it becomes just updates to each goal and getting a little more clear on our 3-year goals.
For us, this takes about 4-6 hours, but we leave with crystal clear goals for the next year and who is responsible for each goal.
Quarterly Planning Meeting
This meeting obviously happens every quarter and is basically a stripped down annual meeting.
We talk about wins from the quarter, what’s working really well, what’s broken, and what are things we want to add.
However, the meat of it is discussing are we on track with our 1-year goals.
We know if we are because we set quarterly rocks.
Basically, a mini version of the 1-year goal.
So, if the 1-year goal is to do 1 million dollars in revenue, a quarterly rock or goal may be to make sure we’re at $250,000 (ignoring seasonality ).
Or, if it’s a big project, like overhauling your operations, what does 25% done look like?
We end this meeting with a really clear list of 3-7 “rocks for the quarter”.
Weekly Team Meeting
For me, this is probably the most important meeting, and if you don’t have any meetings I would start with this one.
It’s at the same time every week, that’s important.
It starts with wins and highlights from each team member for the week.
We then go over our Scoreboard (see Your Scorecard for more information on how I use this in my business).
Basically, are we on track for our monthly and quarterly goals.
We go over any big headlines and things going on.
This takes about 15 minutes.
The remaining 45 minutes is spent discussing one big topic.
For us, we rotate each week, so each week a different team member has the floor for the 45 minutes and they get to choose what topic they want to present on.
We end with a recap, action items for the week, and we rate the meeting.
5-15 Individual Meetings
I’ve also written about these in the past and I think they are awesome.
For me, my manager does these now, but if you play that role, you would do them.
All they are are 15-minute meetings with each team member.
Josh does all of his on Wednesdays, so it only takes him about an hour or two.
It’s basically a weekly check-in on them.
Put the focus on them.
How are things going?
How is the workload?
Any rocks in your shoe?
Anything keeping you up at night?
We also go over their individual responsibilities, making sure things are done, and make sure they know about all the big things going on in the business.
So that covers the 15 minutes.
Where does the 5 come from in a 5-15 meeting?
We ask them 5 questions before the meeting (we use a Google Form), that way we can prep for the meeting.
It’s a combination of the above questions, and we change them every few months so they’re not answering the same questions.
This is probably for most of you, the least important, but as you continue to grow, it becomes important.
For me, this is really the only meeting weekly (I also lead the quarterly and annual meetings) that I’m super involved in.
It’s a 30ish minute meeting with my manager on Mondays.
We go over how last week went, any issues, and then discuss the plan for this week.
Any big events, any big schedule conflicts, what are the 5-15 and team meetings going to look like, etc.
Just keeps us on the same page.
Again, this one may not directly apply or be necessary for you, but on Tuesdays, just the coaching staff meets.
They go over programming for the month and usually rotate a weekly topic to go deep into (cues, nutrition, a certain injury, etc)
This happens every single day.
It’s only 5 minutes, and it’s STANDING (very important to keep it at the pace it needs to be).
It’s a quick update from each person about what they have on their schedule and to do that day and if they need any help.
Melanie (my admin) also goes over any big headlines for the day and what our daily numbers are (leads, sales goal, etc).
We high five, and we’re off.
Melanie after the meeting writes down what everyone said they were going to get done that day on the whiteboard in the office so there is some social accountability too.
5 minutes, but SUPER helpful.
So, there you have it.
Our meeting flow.
It sounds like a lot, but let’s think about it….
5-minute daily huddle is 25 minutes a week, let’s call it 30 minutes.
15 minute 5-15 meeting.
45-minute coach’s meeting
60-minute team meeting
And 30-minute leadership meeting.
3 hours a week, at most, if you implement all of them, that’s like 8% of the week.
However, if done right, it saves you a ton of time, everybody is more efficient, there aren’t 100 questions coming to you each day, and everyone is on the same page, knows the plan, and you don’t have all that wasted chitter chatter throughout the week.
Finally, it’s important to keep these meetings moving, efficient, and actionable.
Here are 3 final tips:
- Have an agenda and stick to that agenda.
- Squirrel: If someone is going on a rant and it’s getting to be wasteful, someone yells “Squirrel” and we know it’s time to move on
- Always end with a recap and going around the room with each person listing their action items and a rating of the meeting (1-10) so you know it was an effective meeting.
So there you have it.
Hope this helps.
PS: Any of Patrick Lencioni’s stuff is really good when it comes time to this topic, especially “Death by Meeting.”