Note: this is the first in a new series of weekly tips to build a functional, collaborative, aligned team.
Tip #1: Meetings – Separate the Strategic from the Tactical
If you want to build a functional, collaborative, aligned team, most leaders I work with find that they need to refresh their meetings. Patrick Lencioni writes about this when he says that meetings are where the work of the team is done. This is why sitting in on client meetings and helping leaders run great meetings is a part of my post strategic offsite process. It is that important.
My number one tip for meetings is to separate the strategic from the tactical. Here’s what I mean.
We tend to have these regularly scheduled team meetings where we talk about everything: progress on our goals and objectives, strategizing for the future, talking about that new idea that a team member has, or why someone keeps leaving nasty food in the refrigerator. Patrick Lencioni again writes about this when he calls it meeting stew.
Do this instead: keep your tactical meetings tactical and move your strategic or ad-hoc topics to a separate meeting.
Here’s how you do it.
When you are facilitating your weekly tactical meeting, whether it is in person or virtual, have a document open that shows the objectives that the team is currently trying to accomplish. In the same or a new document, have a title that says, “Topics for Ad-Hoc Meetings.” Whenever someone brings up a new idea or wants to strategize or there is some topic that is outside of the scope of the current objectives, add it to this list: Topics for Ad-Hoc Meetings, and move on.
Keep the meeting tactical. Our whole focus of this meeting is on the tactics of implementing our important team objectives.
At the end of the meeting, look at your list of Topics for an Ad-Hoc Meeting. Which ones actually, truly need an ad-hoc meeting? Go ahead and schedule a separate time for each one of those ad-hoc (or strategic) topics.
You will find that two things start happening:
- You realize that most of the topics are not actually worthy of our time right now.
- Your weekly tactical meetings will become more efficient, more effective, and much tighter.
Your high performers will love it because they will feel like we’re not wasting time, we’re only talking about the topics that matter.
If you want a sample tactical meeting agenda or my overview of the different types of meetings, email me and I’ll send them to you.
Go build a functional, collaborative, aligned team!