My Number 1 Recommendation for Better Meetings

I know, I know, click bait title.

But seriously, can a simple shift in the name of a meeting yield better results?

I was fortunate to have two very distinct experiences that spurred the thought:

  1. Two days with our parent company during their annual strategic offsite
  2. Two days with the Vantage team deciding if it was time to pivot

To characterize the two organizations:

  • Parent company has 40 years of sustained growth, is manufacturing-based with a global presence
  • Vantage is less than a year old, is technology-based with an MVP release

Both sessions were labelled strategy, at least initially.

Strategy for our parent company included historical financial data, performance against last year’s objectives, department heads with critical KPI’s, and sage tribal knowledge mixed with fresh perspectives on industry trends. The experienced executive team was comfortable with 36 to 60-month outlook knowing the strength of the backlog.

The Vantage team had a small sample of app usage data, feedback from some prospects, and some observed behaviour from our MVP customer. We acknowledged that there were gaps in our decision data and inexperience in making crucial business decisions, so we were tempted to reschedule.

Instead of delaying we changed the name of the session to “The Stractical”, a fusion of tactics and strategy (props to the Long View Systems team where we experimented with the concept).

In a beloved sports analogy; we took the thinking from planning for the next two seasons including scouting reports and free agency, to focusing on the next set of downs within our current game plan.

The team focused on validating assumptions, made course correcting decisions, and set metrics to inform our next check in, while keeping our goal of building a platform that enriches guest experiences, enhances safety, and enables operational efficiency.

The job of a leader is to setup an environment where desired results can be achieved. In this case, our team needed an environment to freestyle without the perceived expectation of strategy. All it took was a rebrand to get what we needed.

What meeting can you rebrand to get better results? Consider your weekly management meeting. Is it in your calendar as “Management Meeting”? Is it stale? Try a rebrand—how about “Employee and Customer Accountability Session”—and see if injects renewed energy and results.

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