These forced marches around the table offering up banal or purely self-aggrandizing updates are energy and time sinks and serve no purpose other than compensating for the boss’s inability to figure out what’s going on in some form other than holding court.
In addition to draining the lifeblood from your team, here are 4 additional reasons to consider killing the weekly status meeting:
1. Value of Time. Time is precious, and the hour wasted listening to silo-talk is an hour (times the number of participants) you’ll never get back. Use technology to communicate status…use meetings to ideate, innovate and focus on solving problems.
2. The Pain Goes Away When You Stop. The slow, plodding round-table status update is INCREDIBLY painful for everyone involved. If you’ve hired properly, everyone in that meeting wants to be sprinting through their work days and you’ve reduced the pace to a crawl for what seems like an eternity. I guarantee you the only two things on anyone’s mind is, “So and so is full of it with that update,” and “When the #4%@ is the pain going to end?
3. Holding Court Ain’t Leading. If you require your team to convene simply to understand what is going on, you missed the memo on how to engage with your team members in the ordinary course of business. Try getting out from behind your desk and into the workplace more to learn what’s really happening.
4. Your People Shouldn’t Need this Meeting to Work Together. If your team and functional leaders aren’t talking to each other outside of this meeting, you’re failing as a leader. Set expectations for information sharing and collaboration in the workforce and hold people accountable for actually doing it.
The Bottom-Line for Now:
I’m all for connecting and collecting in groups for the right reasons. The boss’s status meeting is rarely the right reason. Build a culture of meeting by exception or, better yet, create a culture where people meet spontaneously when the stakes are ideas, innovation and solving problems that impact customers. If the meeting is simply for you to hold court and catch up, it’s wrong.
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Art Petty is a Chicago-based management consultant focusing on strategy and leadership development. Art regularly speaks on innovation in management and leadership, and his work is reflected in two books, including the recent, Leadership Caffeine-Ideas to Energize Your Professional Development. Art publishes regularly at The Management Excellence blog at http://artpetty.com
Prior to his solo career, Art spent 20+ years leading marketing sales and business units in systems and software organizations around the globe. You can follow Art on twitter: @artpetty and he can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org