By Martin Quinn
As businesses grow, so does their complexity. For example, the more staff you hire the more complex everything gets.
I had one new client where the head of sales said that he had deliberately stopped selling because he did not have confidence that the operations division had enough resources to deliver what was being sold to customers. The head of operations, on the other hand, was shocked to hear this for the first time. He responded by saying that he had just laid off five operations staff members because he wasn’t confident that there were enough new sales coming through in the pipeline.
These two leaders had never effectively communicated with each other about their misperceptions. Their circles were not connected. They had created an unnecessary and dangerous level of complexity that should have been easily avoidable. This disaster demonstrates why leaders need the skills to simplify everything.
Simplify, simplify, and then simplify further.
THE MEETING PULSE™
One simple EOS® Tool that I used to help this client ensure that the leadership team communicated well and stayed connected, is the routine of the Meeting Pulse which is held weekly, quarterly, and annually.
The Meeting Pulse™ ensures that the circles are connected. That the left-hand knows what the right-hand is doing. It enables the team to know what is on track and what is not. It enables you to identify and solve issues and prevent train wrecks.
One of the simplest and most effective tools is the weekly Level 10 Meeting™.
The Level 10 Meeting is deliberately designed to be as simple as possible for the team and the integrator. It is run on the same day and at the same time every week. It starts and finishes on time. It runs for just 90 minutes and has the same agenda every week.
In this meeting, the leadership team gets a pulse on how the business is going across all divisions and can identify and solve key issues.
The weekly Level 10 Meeting Agenda covers the following items:
- Segue – Transition from working in the business to working on the business
- Scorecard – Check that weekly accountabilities are being achieved
- Rocks – Check that quarterly priorities are on-track
- People – Check on customer and employee headlines and issues
- To-do’s – Check that the previous week’s commitments by the team are done
- Issues – Identifying, Discussing, and Solving problems and opportunities
- Conclude – Reminder of new to-do’s. Cascading any information that affects the rest of the business. Rating the effectiveness of the meeting
This simple tool helps the leadership team and the rest of the business communicate better and get stronger at staying on-track to achieve their vision. It helps to hold everyone accountable, to get things done, to solve issues, and to avoid disasters.
TRAIN WRECK AVOIDED
The client that I referred to earlier has now had their first Quarterly Pulsing™ Session. I asked the leadership team what was working.
Their immediate and unanimous response was that the Level 10 Meeting was absolutely working and making a significant difference in their business.
It was helping them to achieve a smooth flow between divisions, avoid train wrecks and importantly, it was starting to help them get traction towards achieving their vision for the business.
When you think about it, it’s quite simple.