A lot of employees have a love-hate relationship with meetings. Meetings can be great solving problems and generating ideas with a team. But a lot of the meetings have endless off topic discussions, fail to accomplish their intended goals and just ramble on and on. We’ve been there.
CEOs spend the equivalent of two work days each week in meetings, according to a study by Bain & Company. At one organization Bain found that attendees spent 7,000 hours a year in the weekly senior leadership meeting and subordinates spent 300,000 hours in related meetings and prep time! Best there’s good news. It’s time for effective business meetings with one of the tools in the EOS Toolbox called the “Level 10 Meeting”.
The Level 10 Meeting
The Level 10 Meeting is a time management tool for very effective business meetings. It will save you two to three times the amount of time you invest in the Level 10 Meeting as a result being more effective and accountable. A great meeting needs to be same day, same time, same agenda, start on time and end on time. If the meeting is at 9.00. The whole leadership team are there small talking at 8:55 and ready to start. At 9:00 am the meeting starts with five 5-minute sections.
1. GOOD NEWS (5 MIN)
Every level 10 meeting starts with good news. It helps the leadership team transition from working in the business to on the business in this meeting. Sharing both personal and professional good news brings also a human element in the meeting.
After 5 minutes of good news you all go into reporting mode with the next three agenda items. You’re making sure that everything that is important in your business is on track, that your numbers are on track, your priorities are on track and all your people are happy. No discussion, you’re not solving anything, you’re just reporting in the next three items. If something goes off track, requires a discussion or needs to be solved, it becomes an item on the issues list which is part of the agenda.
2. SCORECARD (5 MIN)
You’re gonna first review your scorecard to make sure that all your scorecard numbers are on track, five quick minutes.
Tracking what has happened in the business in the last week, month, or year. isn’t what a scorecard does. It is necessary to know how the company has done, but that’s look back data.
Scorecard items, as defined by EOS, are forward looking, activity based numbers, with weekly goals, which lead to desired outcomes. A scorecard is predictive data it tells you what is happening and gives a bit of insight into what will happen. It gives you the information you need to make an educated guess about the future.The scorecard is part of the EOS Toolbox and is used in every company that runs on EOS.
3. ROCK REVIEW (5 min)
“Rocks” are the 3-7 priorities your leadership team will focus on for the next 90 days to achieve their vision. Goals are breached down into bite-size chunks, called Rocks. It gives focus on what is most important and helps leadership teams gain traction on the business. Again you’re in reporting mode so 5 minutes to check if the Rocks you set for the quarter are completed, on track or off track.
4. CUSTOMER/EMPLOYEE HEADLINES (5 MIN)
In the next 5 minutes you’re gonna share customer or employee headlines. Good or bad news in one sentence headline. With this you all know what’s going on with all of your people. Anything that needs to be discussed drops down to the issue list. In the past 15 minutes of reporting you’ve extracted all the relevant issues. It’s time to bring a little accountability into your life with a to-do list.
5. TO DO LIST (5 MIN)
The Level 10 Meeting Agenda is one dynamic document managed by the leadership team. To-dos are going on, coming off, every week. In these five minutes you’re reviewing all of last week’s to-dos to make sure that they all got to done. Rule of thumb, 90% of your to-dos should be dropping off every week. If not there’s a problem somewhere, typically an accountability problem.
6. ISSUES LIST (60 MIN)
In these 60 minutes you’ll IDS issues you have. This is the magic moment. IDS stands for Identify, Discuss, and Solve. It’ a track we teach all our clients. First step is to populate the issues list for the week. Prioritize what is the number one, number two, and number three most important issues. Never start at the top and work your way down always focus on the most important issue.
Identify: After that you take the number one and identify what is the real issue here. What is the root cause of the issue? Most of the times people see the issue as the root cause, when in fact, it’s a symptom of what is really going on. And sometimes you have to dig, dig down to the root to get to the real issue. Before you start solving anything it’s vital you all agree on the real issue.
Discuss: Once you’ve identified the real issue you move to openly and honestly discuss the issue. Every option, every solution, every idea. And the you push to solve.
Solve: Once it’s solved the issue comes off the issues list. And one or two to-do’s created that needs to get done in the next seven days.
After this you then go to number two and IDS it. When two is solved and becomes a to-do, we go to three, to IDS it. Some weeks you’re solving just one issue, some weeks you’ll solve 10 issues. As long as you’re taking them in order of priority you’re doing the right thing.
7. CONCLUDE (5 MIN)
Last five minutes time to conclude the meeting. You recap the to-do list, you discuss if there are any cascading messages that need to be cascaded out to the organization. You quick rate your meeting one to 10 with 10 being best. This is gonna help you and your leadership team to self-correct. You should be getting an eight minimum. If it’s not an eight you just simply ask why and start to self-correct.
At 10:30 on the button meeting ends on time. That’s how to have a Level 10, 90-minute weekly meeting with your leadership team.
Thanks to this setup your leadership team will walk out of the Level 10 meetings satisfied the time was well spent. You received valuable information and support and you’ll have more time in your day to focus on your Rocks and To Do’s. The increased focus and accountability with effective business meetings will drive your organization’s overall performance.
Get started with Level 10 Meeting
As a wrap-up I’ve added the Level 10 Agenda at the end of this page. I’m happy to share more details about the Level 10 Meetings and help you to get started. Let’s get in touch.
5 minutes sharing one personal best and one professional best from the previous week. Kick the meeting off on a positive. Share that “wow” or “aha!” moment. No discussion, just an announcement.
A high-level review to make sure your most important numbers are on track. The person responsible for the number says whether it is “completed”, “on track” or “off track”. The “off track” numbers drop down to the Issues list section of the agenda.
”Rocks” are projects that take up a quarter’s worth of work. Go through the rocks and check if they are “completed”, “on track” or “off track”. Again if a rock is “off” drop it down to the Issues List.
A 5 minute opportunity to announce any news, positive or negative, about a customer or employee. One sentence headlines. If the announcement is an issue, drop it down to the Issue list.
5 Minutes to review the seven-day action items from the previous meeting and report whether each task is “done” or “not done.” Do not to dwell here; If it needs to be discussed at it to the Issue list. Rull of thumb; 90% of your to-do’s should be dropping of every week.
Your leadership team now has 60 minutes to identify, discuss and solve your company’s biggest issues in order of priority.
Understand the root of problems and solve them constructively, rather than jumping to solutions. With all of the issues in a handy list, meeting attendees should vote on the top three priorities and focus on tackling them in these 60 minutes. If issues are on the agenda for more than a few weeks, then they should be dropped to a long-term list to be discussed on a quarterly basis.
Solving an issue usually requires someone to take action, which becomes a task for the to-do list for review at your next Level 10 meeting.
Use these final 5 minutes to bring the meeting to a close. Recap the to-do list and discuss any messages that need to be communicated to the rest of the organization.
Rate the meeting on a scale of 1 – 10; this helps your team self-correct. Establish the practice that anyone who rates the meeting below an “8” must explain why, and “I never give high marks” is not an acceptable reason.