In this blog post, I will share two very simple exercises I always perform when I have onsite meetings such as a Sales meeting, Leadership meeting or a People of Influence meeting, etc... Typically, I use the two exercises for half or full day meetings.
To conduct effective meetings, you need to have discussions. Otherwise, it will just be an informative meeting. You have so much knowledge in the room so why not share and use it better?
In my last Leadership meeting where we had our Executive Leadership Team, the Strategic Leadership Team and the Operational Leadership Team, I wanted to spend a half day discussing leadership. What is leadership, how do our leaders demonstrate leadership and how can we do better, etc…
I enable a healthy discussion by leading a simple exercise I call What What What.
- What should we continue to do?
- What should we stop doing?
- What should we add (or start doing)?
I become a facilitator and ask the team the questions above and they fill in the blanks in the three categories. I provide my input as well.
Not only do you get valuable input from your team, you also get a checklist of things you need to focus on. From the list you can create an execution plan for each of the topics. From the list of items you need to “stop doing”, discuss as a team how to make that happen. Most often the “stop doing” list is simply items people need to be aware of and a mindset change needs to occur. The “continue to do” list is confirmation of what is working and what you should continue to do. Finally, the list of items will become the team's list not yours.
So simple and very effective.
I also use this exercise for myself in strategic thinking, business planning, etc...
When you end the meeting
After your meeting has ended and you have ensured all actions are noted and people know who is doing what, then reflect on the meeting so you can learn from it.
I am a member of Vistage, a worldwide organization for leaders. My CEO network group meets on a monthly basis to discuss various issues, learn from each other, hold one another accountable - all of this leading you to become a better leader and CEO. All groups have a chair, a person who leads and guides the group through the day, and I have to admit, I stole this exercise and the What What What concept from him - thanks Pat!
To end each meeting, we are performing what we call The Delta. A simple exercise where we review the day with two questions:
- What should we do better?
- What worked well?
It is important to start with #1 so you end the meeting on a high note. We review the meeting and list all of the items of things that should be better, things we forgot, things we should add, etc… Lastly, we end with what worked well. This includes everything from the lunch, the interaction, presentations and anything that was great.
It is important to fill out a Delta slide and send to the meeting participants as a part of the minutes and actions. Now, all participants are aware of what needs improvement the next time you meet.
I know you will see the value when using these two easy exercises. Have fun!
About the Author - Thomas Ajspur
Thomas is a seasoned entrepreneur who began working with Microsoft Dynamics 25 years ago as an ERP user and implementer, and then utilized it as the system to run his own business. In 1999, Thomas joined the Microsoft Dynamics Professional Services industry with a focus on building ERP high performance organizations in Europe and the US and is known in the industry for selling large international AX deals. He is CEO of ENAVATE Holdings, LLC.