The Systems Thinker Blog

Power-Lift Your Business Meetings!

Posted byRon Carroll

Are your business meetings weak and powerless, or do you hold muscle meetings that build strength, fitness, and endurance into your organization?

Power-lift your business meetings

 In an on-line Microsoft Office survey, 38,000 respondents in 200 countries cited unclear objectives, lack of team communication, and ineffective meetings as the top time wasters. The results showed that workers spend an average of 5.6 hours each week in meetings; seventy percent of respondents feel they are unproductive.

Meetings are among your most important business systems, and the best place to start building a high-performance, results-driven, culture of excellence. Every meeting you hold should have a payoff!

Muscle Meetings

The best way to power-lift your organization is by holding regular highly-productive workshop-style meetings. These meetings have the specific purpose of improving every aspect of your business. In each workshop, you will focus all the relevant people on fixing or elevating just one part of your operation—one business system or process.

Together, you will brainstorm ideas for improving the business systems that are holding your company back. For example, you might develop or refine procedures to become more customer-centered, or seek to remove waste and rework from your operation. You will also define polices that employees are trained to follow.  

Constant attention to the three P's—planning, process, and policies—will reduce fat and develop hard muscle for the heavy lifting it takes to grow a successful organization.

Learn, Improve and Grow Together

In these muscle meetings, your engaged staff will not only help you see problems and challenges more clearly, but will usually know how to fix them. Your role is not to solve every problem single-handedly, but to guide the discussion and offer your experience and good judgment along the way. Keep in mind that when you invite open dialog, your people may point out the brutal facts about your company’s flaws, weakness, and “unconscious incompetence.” Welcome their constructive comments.

Remember: people like to be asked their opinion. They want to add value to the organization and be recognized for their contribution. A business system built by those vested in its success will have far greater buy-in and results. You can take that to the bank! (see "Rules of Engagement")

Work On the Business

Michael Gerber, author of “E-Myth Revisited,” said that most entrepreneurs work in the business and not so much on the business. Time spent every week in collaborative meetings working on the business to improve processes and policies will do more to get your company in shape than anything else you can do.

The Box Theory™ methodology focuses on six qualities of each business system—process, components, people and policies, quality, speed, and measurement. Every system can be evaluated and improved by drilling down on any of these six elements.

Schedule at least one hour per week to work specifically on the critical areas of your core business systems and processes. Like regular exercise, fifty-two improvement meetings a year will make your company fit and attractive to both customers and employees.

Now, go plan your first muscle meeting today!

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Tags: Business Systems, People, Improvement, Culture