Lose the Bad Habits and Rejuvenate Your Weekly Meeting

By Patrick Thean

dateSun, Apr 24, 2016 @ 12:00 PM

I’ve been a good boy, eating right and exercising daily. My good habits were working. My weight was Bad_Meeting_Nicole.pngtrending downwards (one of the few downward trends you celebrate). Then last month, I traveled a ton. I was in Singapore, Switzerland, and Philadelphia. And to top if off, for spring break, I took my family on a Disney Cruise. After all the fondue, client dinners and all-you-can-eat cruise food, my bad eating habits were back. It’s easy to get distracted and fall back into bad habits, not only with your diet but at work, too. With my weight trending upwards that meant my health KPI (Key Performance Indicator) had moved from green to red! So it was time for an adjustment. My adjustment was to drastically change my eating habits to “shock myself” out of my bad eating habits. It’s nasty! So, let’s not talk about it… but it works for me. My weight is trending downwards again and my health KPI has moved from red back to green.

For my diet, I know what works and how to get back on track. It’s not so easy at work. Many of our clients received tremendous benefits and performance improvements when they changed their status meetings to Weekly Adjustment Meetings, focused on problem-solving instead of status. But over time, it is easy for more discussions about status to creep back in. So, how’s your weekly meeting these days? Sometimes, even the most effective weekly meetings can fall back into boring and ineffective status meetings.

Signs of Bad Weekly Meeting Habits:

  • Your meetings become too routine. You’re probably thinking, "wait, I thought weekly meetings were supposed to be a routine?!” Yes, you should have a routine of meeting at the same time every week, but you shouldn’t be discussing the same things. If your weekly meeting has become such a routine that you don’t even remember what was discussed, it’s time to switch things up.
  • Your dashboards are always green. If your KPIs and priorities are always green, that’s good right? Wrong! Problems are normal. If everything is going great and statuses are always green, either your team is not being stretched enough or your team is not giving you an accurate status and problems are hiding behind a green status.

5 Tips to Rejuvenate Your Weekly Meetings:

  1. Focus on what’s needs attention. First of all, if you are in a crisis, your weekly meetings should be very engaging, to solve the crisis. Don’t waste your time asking for a status on all KPIs and priorities. Focus on the crisis at hand and solve that.
  2. Don’t review everyone's priorities every week. If you have red statuses, jump on them and solve them. Consider doing a complete review of priorities only once a month. On the other weeks, pick an opportunity or problem to work on as a team. If you can get your team to focus and solve one business problem every week, you would solve 50 problems over the year. Solving a particular business challenge weekly will allow you to engage the team actively every single week.
  3. Work on a winning move. Put Think time into your weekly meeting. Focus on only one winning move at a time and spend time working on the assumptions. What can we test this week to validate one of our winning moves? What data can we gather to validate this assumption? What insights can we learn from real world data?
  4. Get paranoid. If your dashboards are green all the time, congratulations. Maybe that's good. Or, maybe that’s bad. If your team members are hiding problems from the team and those green statuses turn red towards the end of the quarter, you just got blindsided. So dig deeper. Ask more penetrating questions.
  5. Actively look for bright spots. Bright spots are victories that can be replicated and scaled across other parts of the company. They are really hard to come by, especially if you’re not looking for them. If you notice a positive change in one of your KPIs or if you have a SuperGreen, be sure to talk about it and really dig into what’s really causing your numbers to move.

Your weekly meetings should be an effective tool for you, week after week. Need to inject some humor? Check out this funny video we made to give a bold comparison of the right vs. wrong way to run your weekly meeting.



Patrick Thean


Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images