Did you know that on average, every single one of us wastes 31 hours per month in unproductive meetings? I’m going to show you how to prevent that.
Very early on at Stride Consulting, I searched for a process to help me scale. This was my 4th company and I had my heart set on scaling in a way that I had never scaled before.
I’ve never raised any funding. All four companies I’ve run have been bootstrapped. So leveraging a pile of cash to scale has never been an option for me. I was searching for a process to enable scale.
That’s when I discovered the Rockefeller Habits.
Rockefeller Habits is a series of 10 habits that, when used well, enable phenomenal scale.
I’ve been using the Rockefeller Habits for about three years. The number one key to our scaling success is Meeting Rhythms, which is Rockefeller Habit number three. Bad meetings suck and are a huge waste of time, to the tune of 31 hours per month.
On the other hand, good meetings are the true pulse of scale.
The most important meeting is the weekly leadership team scrum. The goal of this meeting is to debate the top priority issues facing the business, and quickly decide action items.
The goal is not to solve every issue. The goal is to align on defining the issue and then align on next steps. Sometimes, issues get resolved, but often they are handed off to one person to move forward.
This weekly meeting is our secret sauce. It is how we get stuff done. It is how we scale. And here’s a peek under the hood at how we get it done.
We meet weekly for 90 minutes.
It’s one thing to have a weekly meeting. It’s an entirely another thing for that meeting to be truly efficient to enable real scale.
For us, it took a solid year to get this meeting to be great. Now that it’s great, we spend almost zero time emailing back and forth, and we have almost no unproductive meetings.
The meeting is scripted. It’s got an agenda, and the agenda is the same every week:
We actually set a timer — an alarm goes off after five minutes and the majority vote to keep discussing or move on. We want to allow enough time to get into the weeds, but not so much time that we are ‘selling past the close.’
At the end of each meeting, we rate ourselves, from one to five. We do it rocks, paper, scissors style and call it ‘Fist of Fives’. We each raise one hand, and put up between one to five fingers to show how valuable we felt the meeting was. For anyone who votes less than a five, they get 30 seconds to say what it would take to get them to a five.
The better this meeting becomes, the faster we pulse, the faster we make decisions, the more we get done, the faster we scale.
For me, the key lesson learned here is: have the courage to be stick with it, and forgive inefficiencies. This meeting is easy to get off the ground, yet hard to get right. For us, it took a solid year to get this meeting to great. How long will it take you?
Originally posted on Inc.