stephan.jenner@teluspartners.com

EFFECTIVE INTERNAL MEETINGS

Internal meetings held within an organisation are not about winning friends and influencing people, they are about getting things done. I’ve attended meetings and found myself in the middle of a power struggle or relationship maelstrom and left questioning the outcome and purpose.

 

Internal meetings can be frustrating, confusing and a waste of everyone’s time. Or they can be satisfying, clear and productive if a structured process is applied where the main focus is on getting work done.

Here’s how:

  • A ruthless meeting process defining exactly how the meeting will be structured by using a strict set of rules everyone is aware of.
  • Allocate a facilitator to ensure the rules are adhered to and the meeting stays focused.
  • Document clear outcomes and instantly distribute.
  • Have a specific purpose for every meeting.

Operations (tactical) and Governance meetings are two types of meeting processes. Tactical Meetings deal with the operational aspects and focus on specific actions and projects. As outlined in the insert, this type of meeting can have the most immediate effect on an organisation when run correctly. A strictly process-driven tactical meeting creates clarity on what work needs to be done while allowing the team to synchronise quickly and effectively. Governance Meetings are directed at power, authority and structure.

Holacracy is a real-world-tested social technology for organisations where Tactical and Governance meetings are just part of the process. It drives agile and purposeful organisations by radically changing the structure, altering how decisions are made and redistributing power.

 

Tactical Meeting Process

Check-in Round

Goal: Notice what’s got your attention, call it out, let it go.

Sacred space: no cross-talk. Get present, here and now; grounds the meeting.

Checklist Review

Goal: Bring transparency to recurring actions.

Facilitator reads checklist of recurring actions by role; participants respond “check” or “no check” to each for the preceding period (e.g. the prior week).

Metrics Review

Goal: Build a picture of current reality.

Each role assigned a metric reports on it briefly, highlighting the latest data.

Project Updates

Goal: Track updates to key projects of the circle.

The Facilitator reads each project on the circle’s project board and asks: “Any updates?”

The project’s owner either responds “no updates” or shares what has changed since the last meeting. Questions allowed, but no discussion.

Agenda Building

Goal: Build an agenda with placeholder headlines.

Build agenda of tensions to process; one or two words per item, no discussion.

Triage Issues

Goal: Get through all agenda items in the allotted time.

To Resolve Each Agenda Item:

  1. Facilitator asks: “What do you need?”
  2. Agenda item owner engages others as-needed
  3. Capture any next-actions or projects requested & accepted
  4. Facilitator asks: “Did you get what you need?”

Closing Round

Goal: Harvest learning from the meeting.

Each person can share a closing reflection about the meeting; no discussion.

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