Want to Save a Few Hours Each Week?

watchWanna save a few hours every week? Look no further than how your meetings are run.

The solution to unproductive, painful meetings as showcased by Gino Wickman in his book Traction, is called a Level 10 meeting – the 10 coming from what it should be rated on a scale of 1 to 10.

The foundation of the Level 10 meeting starts with these 5 things:

  1. Meet on the same day each week
  2. Meet at the same time each week
  3. Have the same printed agenda structure
  4. Start on time
  5. End on time

This creates routine, which makes people more comfortable, allows them to focus and thus helps them be more productive. It’s hard to be productive when you can’t ever schedule anything after a meeting that notoriously runs long or when you meet for 3 hours and nothing gets accomplished.

Although it seems simple, if you do nothing else, simply implementing those 5 foundational items will do wonders. But where the real magic happens is in the agenda structure.

Meetings that don’t solve problems are a waste of time, and the Level 10 meeting structure addresses that by devoting a minimum of half its time to force you to look at and address your most important issues that week.

Here’s the 90-minute agenda structure:

  1. Segue – 5 minutes
  • Acts like a warm up or icebreaker where each member of the team shares the best thing that happened to them personally and professionally in the past week.
  1. Scorecard – 10 minutes
  • Where you review whatever your key metrics are and any that are off-track from goal get dropped into the issues section, but resist the urge to discuss here.
  1. Rock Review – 5 minutes
  • Each team member reviews “Rocks” or priorities that were set for the quarter and says whether it is on-track or off-track. Off-track gets dropped into the issues list section.
  1. Customer/Employee Headlines – 10 minutes
  • Everyone shares short and sweet headlines about what happened last week, either good or bad.
  1. To-do List – 10 minutes
  • A review of all the commitments team members made in the previous week’s meeting. This is a HUGE area that improves with structure and accountability, and people learn not to promise something they won’t be able to get done.
  1. Issues List – 45 minutes
  • Where the magic happens and is the biggest improvement for most meetings. Although it may be challenging at first, you have to realize it is impossible to solve everything at once, and if everything is a priority, nothing is a priority.

The key, then, to making the meeting highly effective is to first list all the issues that your team wants to address and then prioritize which to solve. Do not start at top of list and work down.

When you solve most important issues, you tend to realize that many others on the list were symptoms of that core issue and they drop off automatically.

  1. Conclude – 5 minutes
  • Recap your new to-do list from the meeting.

If you are solving the highest priority issues holding your team back or generally causing angst, you will find your meetings won’t be considered a four-letter word and everyone has more time to spend on things that matter.

And by being secure with the concept that you can’t solve everything at once, you can stick to what you can solve during the Level 10 meeting and avoid the black hole of meeting creep the remainder of the week.

So what are you going to do with the extra hours you now have freed up each week?

Email me at cwills@studentpaths.com with the secret password LEVEL10 in the subject line, and I will provide you a sample agenda template that we use for our meetings as well as coaching in any area you’d like help with. You’ll enjoy seeing the results and the extra hours freed up each week!

Chris Wills About Chris Wills

Father Time, or Chris Wills, is passionate about helping other leaders learn and grow and free up time they didn’t think they had. He is the Founder of Student Paths, an organization that better prepares students for their future in college, career and life readiness. You can reach Chris at: cwills@studentpaths.com

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