Meetings are boring right??? Well, they absolutely don’t need to be.
It’s possible to hold better leadership team meetings that actually save time and increase productivity. By leveraging certain key elements, you can put time back into your schedule, have a more productive week, and raise the quality of your company meetings from a 4 to a 10. In the Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS®), we call this kind of meeting a Level 10 MeetingTM.
The Level 10 Meeting is where all the magic happens. Most of the traction a company gains is produced in the Level 10 Meeting. It’s incredibly effective because it’s a time management tool. As you and your team come together for 90 minutes each week, you’ll save time by avoiding miscommunication, preventing train wrecks, solving people issues, and keeping key people accountable. You may even look forward to these regular weekly meetings!
In this podcast episode, Debra shares how to hold better meetings & some of the pitfalls that people fall into.
If you like what you hear then download the e-book & software & let’s get you holding World-Class, Level 10 Meetings every week!
Go to this page to download the E-book, the Agenda template & other EOS Tools – https://firstname.lastname@example.org
EOS One – Get the software here: https://eosone.com/
Email me with any questions – email@example.com
meeting, issue, solve, agenda, business, week, point, people, leadership team, scorecard, eos, cascading, team, podcast, track, accountable, integrator, minute, discuss, list
Debra Chantry-Taylor 00:12
Welcome to another episode of Better Business Better Life. I’m your host, Debra Chantry Taylor. I’m passionate about helping entrepreneurs and their leadership teams get what they want out of business and life. On the show, I invite successful business owners and expert speakers to share their successes. They are open and honest about the highs and lows of business and also life as a business owner. We want to share those learnings with you to inspire you, but also to help you avoid some of the common mistakes. My hope is that you take something from each of these short episodes that you can put into action to help you get what you want, not only out of your business, but also your life. Hello, and welcome to another edition of better business better life. I’m your podcast host Debra Chantry Taylor. And today I’m doing one of the four out of five podcasts I’m pre recording, so that they can be launched right away on holiday, and attending conferences over in Australia. So this is number four to five. And today we’ll be talking about how to lead world class meetings. So I don’t know about you. But I’ve certainly had my fair share of time in organizations where meetings were just an absolute nightmare. I spent 18 months before my since working in Auckland City Council. And we had meetings upon meetings upon meetings. In fact, one week, we actually did an exercise and just added up how much time we spent in meetings, it was 36 and a half hours. So you can imagine the average work week is about 37 and a half hours. So we weren’t getting much done. It’s out of those meetings. But it wasn’t the time committed to those meetings, that was a problem. It was the fact that nothing ever seemed to come out of them. And so when I first discovered EOS and I discovered them level 10 meetings, it was an absolute blessing. It’s like thank goodness, finally, there’s a way to make meetings actually makes sense. So again, I’ve done and what your experience is, but the universe kind of problems of meetings is really about inefficiencies. I mean that often the distractions, they interruption we’ll work or put you behind schedule, they can be really sporadic. You only meet when there’s a fire to put out. And it’s a painfully chaotic meeting trying to fight that fire. They’re not really focused, you know, meetings are filled with tangent sidebar conversations and wandering discussions that never arrive any solutions. Well, they’re filled with unnecessary people. There’s always at least one person who didn’t need to attend, which adds to the operations costs, and it reduces overall productivity. So that’s kind of the universal problem with meetings. And there’s a whole lot of other stuff that happens as well, you know, meetings for meetings sake, people not turning up on time, people meetings running over. So they should call in for next meeting you’ve got coming up, it’s just generally if then, if meetings aren’t run, well, they can be a real hassle. So EOS has discovered that, you know, if you actually aren’t business leaders, on average, they rate the effectiveness of their leadership team meetings as about a 4 out of 10. So that’s pretty low. And there’s lots of room for improvement there. So how do we fix this problem? Well, we talk about leading world class meetings here at EOS. And what we mean by world class meetings is actually having a meeting that is productive, that will save you time. And we’ll actually put time back into your schedule. So we consider meetings to actually be a time management tool rather than a time wasting tool. As in EOS, we call this kind of meeting, a level 10 meeting, reason being is going to take your quality of your company’s meetings more for up to a 10. And a level 10 meeting is kind of where all the magic happens. Most of the traction that the company actually has is gained in means level 10 meetings. And as your team come together for 90 minutes a week, you will save time by avoiding miscommunication, knowing what the right hand is doing most time is doing preventing train wreck solving real people issues and keeping your key people accountable. You may even look forward to his regular meetings. And that’d be a nice surprise. So I’m going to talk in this podcast about what we can do to actually bring you into a level 10 type meeting and start leading what we call workplace meetings. So implementing a weekly meeting pulse, we leadership team will actually help you to gain traction, it helps her team stayed focused, it helps us solve those issues, and improves our communication. And if you get this put throughout the whole organization. In theory, as a leader, the maximum amount of time you’ll spend in meetings is actually 290 minute meetings a week. Now one of these might be shorter than 90 minutes, but certainly no longer than that. So that’s three hours of meetings a week where everything can actually be handled. And the sort of kind of key points of a weekly meeting pops is that we have to have the following sort of five criteria. So the meeting must be on the same day, every week on the same day at the same time. And the reason that we do this is we want to make sure that we actually everybody has it in their calendar. There’s no excuses for not knowing when the meeting it’s when you change the day or the Time, it becomes challenging for me to understand when that makes meetings. So same day, same time. The third point about having the same agenda. And I mentioned this to people in the initial stages of EOS they go, Well, how can you run the same agenda across multiple meetings and sales and marketing, how they want the same agenda as a finance team. But in actual fact, when I share with you this agenda, you’ll see that it actually makes perfect sense, because the meeting should be about solving issues and walking away with action points and accountability. So natural for having the same agenda makes perfect sense, what will change is what comes up in those issues this, but still same agenda. The fourth point is it must start on time. And this is really, really important. As soon as you start sliding into holding meetings that maybe slip and don’t start at the right time, you’re creating an expectation that they won’t. And so we sort of say into that early if the meeting start to say Monday at 10am, you need to be there at 955, sitting around chatting, so come 10 o’clock on the dot, the person who runs the meeting, generally, your integrator will actually say right, let’s get started, everybody is then ready to go. And the last point is, of course, it must end on time. And this may seem really obvious, but it’s important that our meetings do not run over. Because we need to make sure that we’re actually ready to go into the rest of our day, once we have finished this meeting. So these five points, same day, same time, same agenda, start on time and on time, will actually create a routine that optimize your efficiency, and they’ll trim the fat for your meetings. Now, one of the things I signed when I first mentioned this with an EOS leadership team, and I said what let’s pick a day, we weren’t saying Monday 10am is going to be our level 10 meeting date. Inevitably, somebody in the team will actually say, hey, look, you know what, I agree that’s a great time to do it. But I can’t make the next two or three meetings, I’ve got appointments. And the way that I always respond to that is that’s okay, you go ahead and you have those appointments, if you need to, we’re going to go ahead with this meeting regardless, and we will hold the meeting. And we will work on the agenda. And we will deal with issues. And we will come up with outcomes and to dues from that meeting. And we’ll just fill in afterward. So don’t worry, that’s absolutely fine. Because there should be only two reasons that you ever miss a level 10 meeting. The first one is if you did, I’m sorry. But that is a pretty valid reason for not attending the meeting. And the second one, believe it a lot is actually if you’re on holiday, we completely endorse having holidays. So if you’re on holiday, or I’m not going to sick leave and things as well, we’ve had a holiday, we’re dead, they’re the two reasons he missed the meeting. Otherwise, the meeting goes ahead. Regardless, if you’ve got one out of the eight team members or eight, it must go ahead, this has to start to create a meeting cadence in your environment that people know this will go ahead regardless. And what I generally find is those people who said I can’t make the next two or three meetings, they might miss one, but I guarantee they’ll clean their doors for the rest. So once you’ve got that day, and that time set, we’re going to go through the same agenda every time, we’re always going to start on time, we’re gonna end on time. And this is how the level 10 meeting agenda looks. So really is a very, very simple agenda. And like many, many things at ELS, it seems so simple, you wonder how it could possibly work. All I will say is pleased trust the process, give it a go, see what happens, I promise. Once you start actually getting these things working properly in your business, this will make a fundamental difference the way that you actually run your business. So level 10 Meeting Agenda, I’m going to give a link in the podcast that will give you the opportunity to download the agenda, as well as a really great ebook, which is talking about the same things I’m talking about here. So the agenda is designed to actually keep you focused, it helps you spot those development problems drives you to solve them. And it has been created to optimize your meeting efficiency. So this is how the meeting agenda actually looks. The first agenda point is what we call the segue. And this is a five minute kind of reporting part where we’re saying, Hey, give us your good news and professionally and personally for the week. And we go around the table. And even the leadership team has a couple of minutes to kind of noise documents a minute maybe to say, hey, what’s my good news and professional and personal good news for the week. And this gives us a chance to start thinking about working on the business rather than in the business. But it also starts the meeting on a really positive note. So right from the beginning, we’re actually talking about positives in the business. What I love about this tool is you get to find out things about your leadership team may not have known. So they will share something personally good news from the last week. And it may be something you had no idea about. They might be a photographer in their spare time. They might be trying really hard to get healthier, and they’ll share what we’ve been doing on that. That’s a great way to start the meeting on a positive note and get people thinking about return on the business rather than it. The next agenda point is a scorecard. And this is where we go through the EOS scorecard which is a scorecard that has some between three and 16 things we measure every single week and we measure On a rolling 30 minute basis, and in this we’re looking for whether or not we’re on track or off track their scorecard measurables, but also any trends as well. So in this five minute section of the level 10 Meeting Agenda, what we’ll actually do is go to the scorecard line by line. So the second quarter revenue measurable and all we’re asking is, are we on track? Are we off track? If we’re on track, it’s a chance to go, yay, well done, ask, let’s keep moving. If it’s off track, we’re gonna drop this down to the issues list. This is a really, really important part of the meeting. We do not want to get caught up in discussion, this point around the scorecard, because what will happen is you’ll go down a rabbit hole, we’ll start talking off on a tangent, you’ll start getting into the nitty gritty. And it might well be this is not the most important thing that’s happening in your business right now. It’s like with a scorecard, pretty simple, five to 15 measurables. Are we on track? Are we off track, if it’s off track, drop it down to the issues list. And we’ll come back to that issues with shortly. The next agenda point is a rock review. And again, this is very similar to school card review. We’re looking at the company what’s on the individual rocks. And all we’re asking at this point in the agenda is a five minute section is are we on track or off track for our company and individual Ross. And again, if we’re on track, that’s fantastic, we can go day, well done us. And if we’re off track, we’re gonna drop it down to the issues list. Again, no discussion at this point, just drop it down, drop it down, make sure it’s all there in the issues list, which we’ll discuss in our issues section of the agenda. The other thing about the rock of you is you might still think somebody says that they’re on track anyway, I think never be on track. So as a leadership team, you had the opportunity to go, Hey, I wouldn’t make any update on that. So that update would then drop down to the issues list. And we can look at that. And we actually look at our issues. So that’s another five minutes to walk review. Just like the scorecard are we on track? Are we off track, if we’re off track, drop it down to the issues list. The next part is our customer and employee headlines. And this is again, another five minute section really, really short and sharp. And all we’re doing here is we’re looking at whether or not was anything we should be aware of from a customer or employee point of view. And we’ll just automate a contract with the client with a client issue. Employee headlines, this is something really good going on is also something we should be aware of. And sometimes these things they’re called headlines, they’re very short, very sharp, they’re either going to be just a for your information, or it could actually lead to an action point or an issue that has to be sold. So it could be that Monica is leaving, and that leaves a hole in our team that will be dropped down to the issues as for further discussion, if it’s just for your information, we might find out we might say it’s the cascading message to share on the team. And the last part, before we go into this issue, solving part of the meeting is what we call our to do list. And this is actually baked into the level 10 meeting agenda every single week. And it’s a very, very quick five minutes, when we leave every meeting, every issue that is sold has to have a to do or two or three that fall out of it. And we keep track of things on a regular basis, what we’re looking for, is are getting these two dues done, because to dues are seven data items. So when you set it to do from an issue you expect to have resolved within seven days. So we’re reviewing this weekly. And what we’re now saying is, hey, we had this list of to dues from last week, how did we go with that? And basically, it is, you know, how necessary what tend to dues were able to get 90% done. So we go through them one at a time, generally very quickly, just reviewing? Is it done? Yes or No? Is it done? Yes or no, we total it up and we’re aiming for 90% to be done. If 90% isn’t being done, you’ve got an issue, and what is the issue, drop it down to the issues as for me to discuss that in the issue section. And then we get to the most exciting part of the meeting, which can be challenging at first. But it’s a really great way to actually get to the root cause of the challenges or opportunities in your business. So this section is called IDS, it’s the issue solving track. And the IDS is a tool that we teach in EOS, which is all about how to solve issues effectively, and at the root cause. So what the IDS stands for is identify, discuss and solve. And the most important thing about this is actually identification. As humans, we tend to spend a lot of time discussing, discussing discussing, but we need to actually, first of all, make sure we’re discussing the right issue, because we can very quickly jump to conclusions and think this is the issue and go to solve that issue when in actual fact a few more questions. I call it the curious child. So why does that happen? So what who’s responsible for that? What happens when this happens? Currently, this really curious tool child questions gives you a chance to really identify what the issue is. But before we get into that, you’ve got a great big long list here of issues. It’s human nature to want to start at the top. But we don’t do that too, because we need to make sure this 60 minutes of issue solving is absolutely laser sharp focused on the most important things in the business. So we’ve got our list of issues the very first thing we do is We’ll start solving these issues as we go through. And we actually rank the top three issues. And as a leadership team, we go, what are the three most important issues that we have on those issues list. And just remember, issues are not always negatives, that could be an opportunity. So don’t see this as only being challenges or problems, it could be an opportunity, it could be something that we actually want to explore in terms of doing better. So we go through chooses top three issues, and we number them one, two, and three. And then what we do is we start to work through them in that order, of course, number one, we go right, identify Well, there’s a real issue here. And the issue is stated, as let’s just say, we’ve got an ops capacity issue, we then go in, and we’re gonna go right, what is the real issue here? And we ask questions, What do you mean by that? Oh, we haven’t got enough people to actually work in the operations department. Oh, okay. Why is that? Well, we’ve got a lot more extra work, oh, why don’t we have more extra work? Well, since COVID, was had some issues with things being delivered, which means we’ve now got people having back orders and pre orders in the system. And our system can’t cope with that. And so therefore, we have to have more staff to actually deal with it. Okay. And so what we’re actually saying, if like, that brings us to example, is we actually have a systems issue. It may be that might be the case, once we discovered it’s a systems issue, or a people issue, whatever the issue might be, and we feel like we’ve asked enough questions to really identify the actual issue, we then work as a team to discuss it. And we’ll discuss all the possible options. So in this particular example, an option could be that you actually hire more people, it’s a perfectly good option. But that comes with challenges, as you know, people cannot be hired and fired simply or easily. So we have to think about an actual fact. You know, what is that the best solution? Another solution might be that we could actually change the software to cope with this new world that we live in post COVID. So if we do that, what does that look like? Oh, that could require a couple of weeks of development? And would that take the issue, right? Yes, it might take right. And there may be three or four different possible solutions, but we discuss it as a team. And everybody, no matter who was accountable for this issue, has a chance to have some input. This is what I love about this meeting. Although you have accountability for a certain area, this is using the power of the greater mind, right? So we’re working for the greater good as a team to actually get this issue solved. So looking at all the different possibilities, we’re discussing all the possibilities, and then as a team, we agree on resolve. And what I mean by a solve is we’re going to go okay, half the options have been presented to us here, what is the best option for this business moving forward? And ordinarily, there’s a really obvious answer there, which most of them will actually agree on. And if not, then that’s okay, we’ll go to a vote, I wants to go to a vote to come up with some the answer from that. If you get stuck in a tiebreaker, and you really can’t make a decision. This is where the role of the integrator comes in. And the integrator is there to actually hold that tiebreaker and make the final decision because they are ultimately accountable for that business plan. So we keep doing this. And that works. Number one has been ticked off, we tick it off. And of course, when you solved an issue at Purdue comes out of it, you cannot solve an issue without having something that has to be done. As all in this example, if we chose to go to a software development route, the first to do might be, let’s go and get a quote from our IT department to understand what is required to put this change in place. And that’s a to do, which is a seven day item. So that’s something that can be done in seven days, you cannot walk away from that particular discussion, we’re going to completely change the software as a to do, it’s not going to happen in seven days, it being unrealistic. So you get your to dues that come out of it, explore the options for the software, get a price for the software these are to do is they have to be done. And then we close off that issue in Bridge number two. And we follow exactly the same process we go through and we identify, we discuss and then we solve. And we keep going through once he finished the first three, either back into your list. Now list has 7080, 100 issues doesn’t matter. It’s important we identify the top three issues, and make sure they’re the three issues we’re talking about first. So we’ll keep going through this process, you know, creating to do is putting one try to do list until we hit our 60 minute mark. And once we’ve got that 60 minute mark, we’re then going to say right, that’s it for today team. Hopefully you’ve sold a number of issues, sometimes you only solve one. But the important thing is if you’ve identified and put them in the correct order of importance, you’ve solved the most important things first. So once we’ve done that, we’re gonna go on to a conclusion. And the conclusion is really, really simple as a five minute round table. To recap the to do list, the integrator will usually say hey, look from this week’s meeting. We’ve now got this to do. And this is for you, Debra , this is for you, Steve, this is for you. And we just actually read them out one by one and who is accountable for it. And the psychology behind this is actually having somebody commit to what they’ve actually just agreed to. And this is a chance for them if they don’t agree to have something to say about it. The next part is cascading messages what to the rest of the team needs to know cascading up or down what else do the other teams need to know? And this might be hey, look, we know that Monica was leaving, we’re not going to look to advertise and roll we’re going Look at the accountability chart first and then go out there and set me wrong. Let us let people know that or hey, you know that well, no, we just scored a great contract with a new client. Let’s celebrate that the team. And then finally, the very last part of the meeting is what we call the rating. So we rate the state the rate the meeting on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is should show technical term, and 10 is awesome. And this is where teams tend to get a little bit confused, they go in with a very subjective point of view, I thought the meeting was an eight. Why is that I didn’t really like it. That’s not the way we score this meeting. Or we just were saying we start with a score of 10. When you first start a meeting, you have 10 points to lose if you’d like. You only take a point of if you don’t do something right in the meeting. Because this could be someone turns up late, somebody played on their phone, the real issue wasn’t discussed, we had an elephant in the room, and it wasn’t even brought up and you take off points, each of those things. If you go over time, you get our point. And then you give it a legitimate score, based on the tenant, the beginning minus the points are things we didn’t do. If we score this meeting, anything less than eight, because we are accountable and responsible for this meeting, as leaders, we have to give some examples of what we can do to improve the meeting. So this is about taking personal responsibility, accountability. You can’t say I didn’t like a meeting, because you guys spent too long discussing blah, blah, blah, I’m sorry, this is a meeting of adults of leaders. And we have to go right, we as a team, perhaps didn’t get some real issue, what can we do next time to ensure that we do that. And then once we finished that the five-minute kind of wrap up, that’s the meeting close the cascading measures gets sent out the to do’s gets put into the various people’s to do lists, we use software called EOS one, which is fantastic for running these meetings, keeping track of the issues keeping track of to do’s and it means you can actually put issues in as they come to light as well. So for example, that 2 AM Wake of enrollment issue, I got to get that on the list, pop it into your software, it’s there for the next meeting. And most people say, Okay, this is great. We’ve got this meeting. But what about all the stuff that comes up throughout the week? And it’s absolutely true, there’s bound to be stuff that comes up in your business throughout the week.The great thing about this is you actually said the person brings the issue to you, Hey, can this be wait to a level 10 meeting. And most times it can not much happens in a week, or not much needs to be resolved in a week. But if it’s more urgent than that, well, then it’s there a tangible, you’re actually get it solved. And if they can’t solve it, then they bring it to level 10 meeting. This is all about giving the accountability back to the person who’s accountable for that area and say, you find a way to solve this. If you can’t solve it, bring it to this meeting, and we will help you to solve it. And it’s all about helping as a leadership team to solve the issues that can’t be solved by people accountable. So that is in a nutshell, very brief nutshell, the level 10 meeting. As I said, I will put a link in the comments will take you to the PDF, the ebook on how to lead world class meetings. And also from that you can download the level 10 meeting. But also you can check out the EOS one software, which actually helps to manage all this as well. If you’ve got any questions, feel free to email me my email is in the description of the podcast. And that’s pretty much it for me. So until next week, have a fantastic week. Go run some awesome meetings. And I will see you next Tuesday. Thank you. Thanks again for joining us on better business better life with me your host Debra Chantry Taylor. If you enjoy what you heard, then please subscribe to this podcast and let us help you to get what you want out of business in life. Each week we release a new short episode which will give a success story and three takeouts to put into action immediately. These will help you take your business from good to great. The podcast is also supported by free resources, templates and useful tools which you can find at debrachantry taylor.com I am a trained entrepreneurship and business coach, a professional EOS implementer and an established business owner myself. I work with established businesses to help them get what they want. Feel free to contact me if you’d like to have a chat about how I might be to help you. Or if you’d like to join me as a guest on this podcast. Thanks again to NZ audio editors for producing this podcast. See you on the next episode.
And one of the things that Gino always says is that we people tend to overestimate what they can get done in a year. And they underestimate what they can do in 10 years. So if we shift this long range thinking and time slows down, you’ll find a certain peace will actually come over you and you’ll start to make better decisions and become more consistent. You’ll be a better leader for your people. And the irony is that whilst you slow down, you’ll actually get to where you want to go faster. So what is 10 year thinking? So this is really about thinking about the future in the long term. So if you think about the date right here right now, we are in August 2022 10 years from now is August 2032. Have a think about how old you’ll be at that date, this might be a little bit confronting for most of you, because for me, that means I’ll be 62 years old. And let’s face it in the past that was traditionally retirement age. Once you’ve got that really, really clear in your mind, you’re going to be 62 Debra in 10 years time, what is the number one most important thing you’ll want to have accomplished on that date? And this becomes your sole focus in terms of what you’re trying to do. So this can be from a business perspective, or from a personal perspective. But you know, once you have a really clear understanding of where you’re headed, you can then start to ask the questions around, does everything I’m doing aligned with my 10 year goal. And if not, you have the chance to actually adjust it and adjust your course to do that. Really compounding exercise really, really good getting you on track. And one of the things that Gino talks about is a 10 year cycle. So the 10 year thing, he will help you burn less energy, but you have to be prepared because in every 10 years, there will always be two great years, six good years and two terrible years that can actually put you out of business. So you need to be prepared for that. You need to always have six months reserves in the bags that you can actually go through those two terrible years that could potentially bookbinder business. And like it or not, is a 10 year cycle. It’s very rare that you don’t actually achieve that. So it means you have to know there will be some good years, there’ll be some great years, but they’ll always be there to terrible years. So thinking in terms of 10 year cycles and thinking long term helps you really focus on what’s important. Number two is about taking time off. And this is really funny because it’s the ones that I do. I’ve got the 10 year thing down pat, I do take time off. I’m actually currently as I said in a campervan, or motorhome, I should say, traveling around the South Island of New Zealand, taking some time out. And when Gino says take time off, what he means is you need to turn your brain off, just like your body needs deep restorative sleep your brain needs rest time too. And if you think about the Stephen Covey thing of sharpening the saw before you actually start chopping down the trees, the sharpening of the soil is when you’re turning your brain off allowing your brain the time to actually restore itself. So you can actually be the sharpest possible mind you can have and give you the best possible outcome. So we urge you to take actual time off, choose the number of days you will take off per year and actually stick to it. I have a plan that my entire year on this this trip I’ve got planned the whole of August being away has been in there since the beginning. And I knew that no matter what happened, I will be taking August off. I urge you when you do take this time to leave your phone calls and your emails to your assistant whoever is covering you while you’re away. Because any tapping into any of those things might just bring you back to the fighting fire. So the working in the business, it’s not going to allow you the time to really recharge your brain. If you can do this, you’re going to return re energized and subsequently become more creative and more productive. So how many days off? Do you actually want to commit to take time off, make sure you’ve got that written down, plan it out in your calendar. And I use the phrase which I learned from one of my fellow EOS implementers ‘Plan your life or your year before someone else does.’ I have a template where I actually plan out the whole year so that nobody can tell me all my life isn’t guided by everybody else’s wants and needs. I still make sure I have plenty of time for my clients. And then I want to make sure I serve in the best way I possibly can. But I know that I need to take time off as well.
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