Positioning Systems - Small Business Coaching



Articles > Meeting Rhythms #101 1-26-10

You suggest meetings are important to growing your business. I abhor meetings! How are meetings going to help me to grow my business and how do I get my people on board with something they believe will be a waste of time?

I'm the first to admit that no one likes meetings, especially the ones that bore everyone and accomplish little.  Let me make it clear that if that's the type of meeting you've been having, don't continue them.  In fact if a meeting isn't necessary eliminate it. 

The types of meetings we ask our clients to initiate have specific intention, and a specific agenda.  They are short, time limited and for a specific purpose.  We agree that meetings can be the dearth of any organization.  Let's talk about how meetings can be helpful, grow your organization, why you absolutely need to improve and increase the number of meetings you have, and how to do this so that your people will not shrink from attending

 Do you know the number one capability of the human mind?

It's pattern recognition.  

In Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, Malcolm Gladwell notes that quick decisions are based on data and pattern recognition.  To take advantage of the brain's unique capability we must gather and process data so that we can recognize those patterns.  If you gather data once a year you may not see a pattern.  If you gather data and metrics on a daily or weekly basis you begin to see patterns.

Positioning Systems coaching is expressly designed to teach our clients Strategic Discipline.  The three disciplines of Priorities, Metrics, and Meeting Rhythms are designed to utilize the mind's capacity to recognize patterns so that your business can quickly identify and maximize business opportunities.  Meetings also identify and solve bottlenecks.  Meetings should help you gather data on a regular basis.  

Meetings need to be short, sweet and always have an agenda.  You should schedule your meeting plans for the quarter, with each meeting specifically planned so that everyone is aware of the time and date so they can be included.  Never schedule a meeting unless you have a planned agenda.  With the structure we provide our Gazelles' clients with, you will always have an agenda to follow and plenty to discuss.

Meetings conducted properly will help your business pulse faster and react more quickly to issues and concerns, and take advantage of your opportunities.  Taking advantage of the mind's capacity for pattern recognition you will be able to identify trends with your customers and employees so you can respond appropriately. 

Beyond pattern recognition there is also the need to balance change with stability.  If your business experiences change due to growth or decline, meeting rhythms provide a source of stability and strength offered by a steady routine.  When there is upheaval and disorder in your business your people need the security of familiar regular habits to settle and calm their fears.   Properly developed meeting rhythms achieve this.

Each of Positioning Systems Gazelles' structured meeting has a specific intention: 

  •     Daily Huddles  = Synchronization
  •     Weekly     = Priorities
  •     Monthly    = Big Issues
  •     Quarterly = Strategy

Each meeting also has a specific agenda.

Goldman Sachs does two daily meetings to drive their business.  We don't suggest that you do two daily meetings, however if you have radical change in your business, it may be necessary to consider the value of providing radical stability to balance the upheaval your business is experiencing.

Companies like Apple, Dell, GE, Linksys, Microsoft, and the Ritz Carlton have long practiced the discipline that meeting rhythms provide.  When Steve Jobs received the award from Fortune Magazine as the most admired company he mentioned the critical importance of their weekly executive meeting they hold every Monday.  Wal-Mart's founder Sam Walton conducted weekly meetings every Saturday to determine what products and practices they needed to initiate by Monday the next week.  He indicated that this practice alone kept the company ahead of their competition by weeks.

Effective meetings provide the right routine and stability for your firm to insure effective communication.  If you're looking for resources for how to create the right types of meetings on your own we suggest reading or listening to Mastering the Rockefeller Habits by Verne Harnish     or Patrick Lencioni's Death by Meeting. Alternatively, for hands-on help developing the proper agenda and right routine for your businesses meetings contact us.

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Positioning Systems helps business owners and entrepreneurs transform their business.  We provide the tools and coaching to help you take control of your business -- rather then having your business control you.