How to Avoid Useless Meetings with Meeting Cadences
If you work in the legal industry (or any industry for that matter), you’re likely familiar with the idea of death by meetings. It’s easy to feel like all we ever do at work is sit in unproductive meetings. This feeling and too many of these kinds of meetings can really rob us of our passion for our work.
However, there is a better way. Mark has done extensive research into meetings and figured out a way to do them in his organization that doesn’t feel like a slow death. He calls it their “meeting cadences.”
Five years ago, Mark and his team implemented a business methodology called EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System). It lays out a regular cadence or rhythm for holding meetings in organizations.
Vision Strategy Meeting
The first meeting cadence laid out in EOS is an annual Vision Strategy Meeting. This is a full day, nearly eight-hour structured meeting. Depending on the size of your firm, you could do this with just the leaders of your team or you could include your whole team.
In the vision meeting, you focus on the big picture. You make sure everyone is on the same page regarding various segments of the business.
Firstly, you lay out the three to give “big hairy audacious goals” for the next year. Then, you lay out your vision for the firm: where you want to be in 10 years as a company and why. Finally, you discuss your company’s core values. Through all of this discussion, you must make sure everyone is in agreement about all of these things.
Quarterly Strategy Meeting
The next meeting cadence happens every quarter and is called the Quarterly Strategy Meeting. The goal of this meeting is to get traction on the annual goals you have set.
During this meeting, you break down your three to five big yearly goals into what needs to be done this quarter. You create smaller goals for the quarter that are each in pursuit of a larger annual goal. You also figure out what specific steps need to be taken on those smaller goals and who is responsible for them.
Level 10 Meetings
Thirdly, your firm should have a weekly meeting in your meeting cadence. In EOS, these are called Level 10 Meetings because, at the end of each one, every person goes around and rates on a scale of one to 10 how productive they thought the meeting was.
These meetings take care of the need for consistent communication and clarity in your firm. Every week, you’re enduring that everyone is on the same page and moving forward. If somebody is stuck on something, they can bring it up in the Level 10 Meeting and get dedicated time to discuss it.
Finally, the last meeting cadence is weekly one-on-one meetings. These are between managers and their direct reports. These meetings should be 30 minutes per direct report. For Mark, though it adds an extra two hours to his week, it’s actually his biggest time saver.
The first 10 minutes of these one-on-ones are for the employees to talk about anything that’s on their minds. It doesn’t have to be work-related at all. From there, the manager takes about 10 minutes to give updates, check in on some things, or provide positive feedback. In the final 10 minutes, the manager and direct report try to create some goals.
If you want to learn more about how to prevent useless meetings, check out Episode 026: Meeting Cadences – Intentional Meetings Don’t Suck.