Fix the Meeting: Why Most Weekly Team Meetings Suck

By Ted Skinner

dateMon, Jul 25, 2022 @ 09:00 AM

You know what? Weekly team meetings suck. There, I said it. I know many of you were thinking it, but I went ahead and fix team meetings.jpgput it out there. People don’t like them. In fact, many people describe their departmental meetings as a complete waste of time. Others compare meetings to running in a circle like a hamster, it feels like you are moving, but you are getting nowhere! I have seen poorly executed meetings almost single handedly crush the culture of an organization. It is impossible to build an excellent company without a great culture as you can’t keep the A players that you need to succeed. Think about it, when was the last time you walked out of a meeting and thought “that was awesome!”?  If you run effective team meetings, solve problems and follow the weekly meeting agenda each and every week you'll rid yourself of this meeting madness

I have good news for you, weekly team meetings don’t have to suck. If you work just a little bit at it, the time spent can be extremely productive and help drive your company towards its short and long term goals. Before you know it you will actually look forward to going to meetings. In fact, this topic is so big that we produced a video about it, which you can find at the end of the blog post. This also will be the first in a series of blog posts that will help you turn your boring status meetings into super productive adjustment meetings. Make sure that you sign up for our blog notifications, or check back frequently so that you can stay in the loop! 

At the Rhythm Systems Breakthrough Conference, I had the pleasure of running a weekly meeting workshop. The topic was a good one that I knew would draw a lot of interest, but I didn’t know that it would require us to completely rework the entire room to double its capacity! Of course, the Rhythm Systems SuperGreen® team took care of all of the details so I could concentrate on the material for my workshop. The topic: How to Achieve Airtight Execution With Your Weekly Adjustment Meetings. The high interest in participating let me know just how big of an issue unproductive meetings are at many organizations.

There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of reasons that meetings don’t work. Meetings are one of the most expensive undertakings at any organization, yet very few people spend the time needed to work on having great meetings. There is a skill component to meetings that you can improve over time. Bring it up to the team at your next weekly meeting and see how eager they are to make the staff meetings more relevant, productive and fun. I am sure you’ll get a positive response and buy in from the team to work on it.

In analyzing hundreds of meetings, I have found that most problems fall into three overarching categories: preparation, operation and procrastination. Each of these will be addressed in future blog posts. 

Weekly Meeting Preparation Problems

  • Agenda doesn’t drive company growth
  • Team doesn’t do their homework prior to meeting
  • Poor annual or quarterly plans that aren’t execution ready

Weekly Meeting Operation Problems

  • Culture does not foster accountability & transparency
  • Poor time management and no probing questions
  • Status updates versus working adjustment meetings

Weekly Meeting Accountability (Procrastination) Problems

Weekly Meeting Facilitation Problems

  • Always having the team leader be the facilitator, try passing the baton week after week to keep team on their toes.
  • Not keeping on the weekly team meeting agenda and using the meeting parking lot.
  • Not starting off with good news or something that fits your company culture to get the blood flowing, it doesn't need to be about work.

You spend a lot of your working time in meetings, so spend the appropriate amount of time working with your team to improve them. If you upgrade your meetings, you will turbo charge your teams’ performance. You’ll spend your time working on solutions to the key business challenges that your business is facing, and maybe just have a little fun doing it.

Happy meetings, and I hope you enjoy our video! -Ted Skinner

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Ted Skinner


Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images