The benefit of having a weekly meeting rhythm that follows a disciplined agenda every week is that your team will have highly effective meetings that focus on making needed adjustments rather than updating the team on the status of various priorities and KPIs. But, a potential pitfall of having the same agenda week after week is that the meeting could start to feel stale.
Here are some questions to consider if you find yourself looking around your meeting at glazed eyes and wandering minds or at a team busily checking email while only half listening:
- Are you having the right conversations? Even if you follow the same basic agenda, if you are focusing the discussions on the aspects of your quarterly plan that need adjustments to stay on track, you should be having engaging conversations every week. If you are just updating the team on the status of items, then you will lose the room quickly.
- Are there too many parts of the plan that need adjustments? If your meeting is sounding the same every week because you just do a cursory pass through everything that is Red or Yellow on your dashboard, perhaps you can consider doing a deep dive on only one or two items per meeting. If you can identify one KPI or Priority that is off track that could impact other places in your plan where you are stuck, then start there. Spend the whole meeting brainstorming a plan to get that item moving in the right direction.
- Is everyone preparing effectively ahead of time? Make sure that your team is updating everything the day before the meeting so that you can each go in prior to the meeting and read the comments and see where your team members are getting stuck. Gather the needed data and think of potential solutions ahead of time so that you are prepared to have a great discussion.
- Do you need a change of scenery? Sometimes meetings can become dull just from the habit of being in the same room at the same time with the same people. Consider changing the location of your meeting to a different room or even somewhere outside of the office; the new surroundings could give your team a creativity boost.
- Do you have all the right people in the room? Just as a change of scenery can re-energize a meeting, so can a change in participants. Think about whether you might need to bring in someone from another department as a guest to help provide data or insights from a new perspective to get your team unstuck.
- Do you have a culture where your team can speak freely? Meetings become exhausting when the participants don’t feel comfortable sharing how they really feel; if your team is just paying lip service to what they think you want to hear, then you are all wasting your time. Consider ways to build trust in your team so that you are getting the most out of the people in the room and hearing what they really think.
If you have a Rhythm consultant, you might also ask your consultant to facilitate the next weekly meeting for your team. Your consultant can help you diagnose where your team is struggling to have great meetings and help you come up with a plan to make the most out of the time you spend together every week.
Have a great weekly meeting!