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Crush Your Next Executive Team Meeting

Doesn’t it always seem like you are in a never-ending labyrinth of meetings? So when are you actually going to get your work done? You can’t just sit back and talk about taking action and not have a chance to do it. Meetings can be a business accelerate but they can also be a major drag. We get that too. Our goal is to maximize meeting time so you can move forward with clear priorities, confident that the people around you are running in the same direction.

This structure can be applied to most meetings but it is specific to the weekly executive team meeting, the most expensive meeting of the week, when leaders from different areas of the organization get together.

I have created a download below with 10 basic meeting hygiene principles. You can download the worksheet but here are the top 5.

  1. Put down your email, phone, and Slack
  2. Avoid opening the laptop (even if you are taking notes, it looks like you are distracted)
  3. Have a clear start and end time with a clear intention for the meeting
  4. Consider a 2-minute ice-breaker to just get people connected to each other
  5. Schedule for a shorter time than you’re comfortable with – you will get it done.
  6. …..Get the Download (see below).

Here is the format for the Weekly Executive Team Meeting:

1. Set the Stage
You have to get people in the mood to engage. Settle everyone down. Get them in the moment. Do a short icebreaker

2. Gather Data
This is about being data driven. What are the metrics that you are managing? How are they tracking? Who owns them? Are they in the green/yellow/red. If you were a CEO that came into the office just once a week, what would you want to see.  Stride helps a lot here with making sure the data you want to manage is timely and accurate.

3. Team Updates
Updates are by functional area, not by person. Just because Bill oversees finance and marketing (not a combo I would suggest), he should be updating twice under the heading of that respective role. Updates are brief (capped at 3 minutes).

4. Build the Agenda and Discuss
There is always a person assigned to be the scribe. They should be listening intently and taking notes. They are listening for quick win action items as well as more substantive topics that might drive the most important thing for the group to discuss. That discussion has a format that is outlined in the worksheet.

5. Reinforce
Reinforcement is about key takeaways. It is about honoring the time together. In other words, close the meeting like a package.

There is nothing magic about how to conduct the most effective executive board meetings but it is important that a process be put in place. Otherwise you’re just having a nice conversation.  The best solution is to leverage accurate and timely financial data and use it to engage in strategic discussions.  The download provided here will help you do just that.

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