When working with groups and teams, the framework I use for evaluating and coaching them is The Six Conditions of Team Effectiveness (created by Richard Hackman, Ruth Wageman, and Erin Lehman).
One of the outcomes of effective teams is high quality group processes. Inefficient meetings (the way teams get work done together) are one of the chief components of the group process bucket which, if not in place, is directly correlated to the team’s failure to deliver on their charter!
If the meeting culture of your organization is inefficient, it is killing your gross profit!
Need a reality check on how much meetings cost your team or organization?
Just ONE TIME, do the math on how much a single meeting costs your team or company. I had one of my clients (a CEO) do this exercise with me after his direct reports complained about unproductive meetings.
Pick any meeting you can see on your calendar. Distill down the hourly rate of each employee who is called to that meeting (you may have to guess in some cases). Multiply that rate by the number of hours each spends in that meeting. Add that up for the entire attendee list. You’ll get clear, really fast as to how much of a gross profit suck your meeting culture might be. Do that math at the executive level and it will bring you to your knees!
Small changes with big impacts to your company’s meeting culture
If you aren’t sure where to start, here are two simple practices I’ve seen implemented that create powerful impacts to a company’s meeting culture (and profitability).
- Have days or pockets of hours in your business where nobody in the company is allowed to schedule meetings (and hold everyone accountable to it). Even the CEO can’t make exceptions! This needs to become sacred if it is going to work.
- Establish company-wide meeting norms. And example of a meeting norm could be that each meeting requires an agenda – communicated in advance – that includes (at a minimum): intended outcomes and decisions to be made, time allotment for each agenda item, a placeholder at the end of the meeting to assign deliverables and follow-ups. Frankly, anyone granted authority to schedule a meeting – demanding hours of time from multiple other people – should be capable of putting together a robust agenda and driving to the outcomes. If they can’t, then perhaps they aren’t allowed to schedule meetings!
If you’re curious about how your team is doing in this area, give me a ring! I’d love to help you assess how well the team is aligned to the conditions necessary for their success.
Click here to read more about the Six Conditions of Team Effectiveness.
Powerful Question: If you could change one thing about your team’s processes, what would that be?