The “Quick” Question that is Costing Your Company Money
Hey, Got a Minute?
Do you groan when you hear this? Do you find yourself sucked into the vortex of someone else’s agenda? Or worse, are you the one pulling other people in? If this is a common occurrence, this simple question can be costing your company massive dollars in lost productivity and you may have a hidden problem.
Occasionally, these interruptions are necessary, but the majority of the time they are not. Sometimes people are looking for a sounding board; they have a question or idea that they don’t want to forget. These impromptu meetings can point to a lack of discipline when we fail to wait to solve issues at a time that’s convenient for all involved parties.
What’s the real problem here? The most common hidden problem, or “root cause” as we call it in EOS™, is that there are not enough regular, effective meetings. From what I have seen, most companies are quite weak in this area.
What can you do to shift away from “got a minute” interruptions?
First off, encourage your team to make a private list of ideas, problems, questions and other items for discussion… and keep it to themselves until the meeting. Personally, I have lists for each company/department on my phone. As an issue comes up, I just add it to the appropriate list on my phone. Then, in the meeting, invite everyone to add these issues to the list.
Second, your team needs GREAT meetings and yes, those are possible. What does a GREAT meeting look like?
- Starts on time, ends on time.
- Has a regular weekly cadence: Same day, same time, same agenda
- It starts with good news. Get to know each other better and think big picture for a moment: Share 1 personal and 1 professional good news. Keep it short and sweet.
- Once in the meeting, discipline is paramount, stay focused and on topic.
- Keep reporting to a minimum, spend 15 minutes maximum in this area. Don’t get dragged into the weeds looking at ALL the data in the company.
- Check on your critical weekly activity-based numbers
- Check on your progress on your quarterly priorities (Rocks)
- Check on your people: employees, customers, vendors
- Review of action items from the last meeting (= accountability).
- The majority of the meeting is spent solving issues. Real, deep problems, not surface level things. Begin with the most important, high impact items first.
- Engage in meaty, healthy conflict when solving issues (Note: A lack of conflict is a sign of poor team health. For more on this, read Patrick Lencioni’s Death by Meeting)
- Ends on time with everyone crystal clear on what they have to do to solve the discussed issues. Everyone is now on the same page and can spend the next week executing effectively, making “important stuff” happen.
If you want to learn more about effective meetings, here’s the EOS™ L10 video.
Most of my clients say they don’t have enough time to add another meeting to the schedule. The reality is, they can’t afford NOT to have these weekly meetings. Almost every one of my clients, who are few months into the process, share good news and amazement about how the weekly L10 meeting is really working for them. They get more done, are on the same page, and feel more connected.
So, the next time someone asks you the time vortex question, “Got a minute?” How will you respond?
If you, or someone you know, would like help addressing this kind of issue, I would love to have a conversation about how I can help you hold effective meetings to achieve Vision, Traction and Healthy in your company. Let’s book a time to chat. Or you can download the EOS™ Tools for FREE.
This blog is a work of passion for me. I would love to hear what you think of my musings, please comment below with your ideas/feedback.
Be sure to sign up to receive updates and future blog posts.