This post is part of our series on The 5 Types of Work Meetings.
Every organization depends on its leadership team to make well-informed decisions on a regular basis. While they may look different from one company to the next, weekly team executive meetings allow busy department heads to review progress, tackle challenges, and learn about their peers in other parts of the organization. Everyone has to remember a few key points when it comes to holding, running, and reviewing effective executive team meetings.
Executive Team Meeting Purpose
As an organization grows, its list of activities is likely going to grow as well. As a result, it can be hard for everyone to keep up with what the other departments are doing because they are busy tracking their own agendas. Therefore, department heads need to coordinate with each other during the meetings to ensure that all moving parts are on the same page.
As time availability shrinks, it becomes tougher to convince leaders to get together and meet regularly. The reality is that if department heads cannot coordinate effectively with one another, the company will suffer due to inaction and indecision. All company executives need to prioritize organizational alignment and coordinate with one another to ensure that everything is proceeding as planned. This is the primary purpose of an executive meeting.
How To Run an Executive Meeting
When it comes to running an effective executive meeting, the first part has to do with scheduling the meeting and setting the agenda. A leadership team should meet weekly, or at the very least bi-weekly, and these meetings should last an hour to 90 minutes.
An example executive meeting agenda would include:
- Welcome & Review Agenda (5 minutes)
- Announcements and Wins (5 minutes)
- Metrics and Numbers (10 minutes)
- Quarterly Priorities & Progress (10 minutes)
- Identify Top Issues (5 minutes)
- Tackle Top Issues (45 minutes)
- Review and Confirm Actions List (10 minutes)
The point of these meetings is to check in on strategic goals and quickly make well-informed decisions. Start by reviewing metrics and KPIs and running through any significant news or announcements that may inform the discussions. Be sure to include any underperforming goals or behind schedule objectives in the management meeting topics that occupy the bulk of the agenda.
The team needs to use the majority of this time to discuss the highest priority topics. If there is any follow-up action that has to be carried out, it should be reviewed in the last part of the executive meeting agenda.
Weekly Leadership Team Meeting
These meetings are essential, and everyone must make sure they get the most out of these meetings. Note some of these ideas to help make your leadership meetings more productive.
- First, the agenda and necessary resources need to be shared ahead of time. The majority of the meeting should be spent making decisions. Therefore, those attending the executive meeting need to read and familiarize themselves with the agenda and the updates from other departments before the meeting. Then, they can think about what feedback they would like to provide once the session starts. This will help to keep the meeting moving.
- Once the executive meeting starts, use a timer to keep the meeting on track. While this timer might take some getting used to, a little bit of pressure to keep the agenda moving is necessary to ensure that time is spent correctly.
- If there is a topic that might need more research before a decision can be made, that is fine! This topic can be moved to a smaller group setting with the necessary parties at a later time. That way, no time is wasted.
- Finally, if the meeting needs to be extended by a few minutes so that one department can present recent work, that is fine too. Guest speakers can keep the entire company in the loop regarding what is happening with the rest of the company.
These are a few helpful tips that everyone should follow to make sure they get the most out of every executive leadership meeting.