26th October 2017

The Third Discipline of Execution

The Meeting Rhythm is the third of the disciplines of execution. I know that most of us dislike meetings, but think about it. How else do you communicate effectively all that needs to be communicated in a business of any size? Typically, the problem isn’t meetings. The problem is bad meetings.

Meetings must conform to the following rules. First there must be a purpose. I suggest you write it down and agree it with all stakeholders. If you aren’t clear on the purpose don’t hold a meeting. A clear purpose will allow you to establish the second rule which is a written agenda. The third rule is a start and finish time. This allows your team to manage their time and is respectful. Keep the time as short as you can while being effective.

Make sure you establish meeting discipline. Start on time and finish on time, every time. Put the rhythm of your regular meetings in everyone’s default diary. This rhythm acts as a placeholder to make sure that what needs discussing gets discussed, regularly and effectively. Make sure that they are slick, disciplined, purposeful and effective and they will become an essential part of your execution rhythm.

The Scaling Up methodology suggests the following rhythm. Annually: two days off site to agree the strategic trajectory, discuss the trends and opportunities and the big hairy audacious goal. Reinforced by quarterly strategic planning where you will review your achievement of the 90-day plan you are just completing as well as setting the priority and the critical numbers for the coming 90 days.

Within the quarter the SLT will meet monthly to review performance towards the quarterly objectives and any adjustments that need be made and weekly to report on the progress towards the monthly objectives.

Every day each member of the firm will meet in a 5 to 7 minute huddle in their work groups to commit to today’s priorities and report on yesterday’s achievements, as well as having the chance to ask for help from their team mates.

This rhythm may seem like a lot of meetings but it is a rhythm and it brings organisation to what would otherwise be chaos. Routine really does set you free, and this particular routine will make your organisation more agile, coordinated and effective. I promise you.