Rockefeller Habit #3 – Meeting Rhythms:

Understanding the Scaling Up Rhythm, Cadence and Meeting Objectives for the Executive Team and your Entire Company

A key to your company’s success is scheduling consistent “meeting rhythms”, which allow the members of your team to feel the heartbeat of your organization and move faster and smoother in tempo to the beat. A smooth yet powerful rhythm drives an annual, quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily meeting schedule that highlights the execution, alignment, and updates to The One Page Strategic Plan (TOPSP). This cadence of meetings fosters teamwork and culture, and through their focus and alignment provides an opportunity to solve problems more quickly, ultimately saving valuable time.

Design your meeting and communication cadence around 5 distinct meeting types. These include:

  1. The Daily Huddle or Check-in Meeting
  2. The Weekly Tactical Management Meeting
  3. The Monthly Strategic Management Meeting
  4. The Quarterly Strategic Planning Retreat
  5. The Annual Strategic Planning Retreat

The Daily Huddle or Check-in Meeting

This is a scheduled daily alignment meeting that should last no more than 10 or 15 minutes. It is called a huddle because best practice is to do this standing to keep it short and flowing. Conduct the meeting at the same time each day and travelers should call in. The purpose is to keep team members aligned and to provide a daily forum for activity updates and scheduling. Each team member should contribute.

Sample Agenda:

HEADLINES: Good news (personal and business). The goal is to get people in the more relaxed and open alpha brain state through a good laugh and to forge comradery. A jar with slips of paper containing icebreakers is a fun and easy way to get the team flowing.

NEWS: What’s Up – any news from the prior day relevant to the entire team (example: a meeting with an important client coming up). Align on the Number One Priority for today

SPORTS: Review yesterday’s numbers and each persons’ progress regarding their stated Critical Numbers and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

TRAFFIC: Stucks – any issues employees have encountered that prevent them from moving forward.

WEATHER: Top Priority – the most crucial task each team member is committed to accomplish that day. Statement starts with: “Today I will commit to accomplishing…”

The Weekly Tactical Management Meeting

This is a key meeting to ensure that sub-priorities of the Quarterly Priorities (Rocks) are being executed on a weekly basis. This meeting should be approximately an hour in length, give or take 20 minutes. Participants should come prepared to discuss results, key performance indicators, accomplishments, Rock updates and their respective Priorities for the upcoming week.

The key to making these tactical meetings work is having the discipline to identify and postpone the discussion of more strategic topics which should be covered separately or during the monthly strategic meeting. Instead of trying to solve a large strategic issue, try to resolve more bite-sized chunks that come up in your quarterly or monthly implementation plan, and to handle systemic patterns of issues that come up in the daily huddles.

Note: all team members should have their meeting updates, metrics and priorities completed in Metronome at least 12 hours prior to the meeting.

Sample Agenda:

• WINS and Good News (personal and business)

• CEO – Update

• Scorecard/Metrics Review – The Scorecard/Metrics should answer the following:
    ◦ Review Metrics Scorecards real-time in Metronome
    ◦ Did the team have a good week or bad week?
    ◦ How is the team performing on Critical Numbers?
    ◦ How is performance?

• Department-level Quarterly Rock/Priorities Review
    ◦ Review Priority updates real-time in Metronome
    ◦ Is the team on track or off-track for the quarterly goals?
    ◦ What Priorities are going well? (3 biggest accomplishments from the previous week)
    ◦ What Priorities need to be fixed? (3 top priorities for the coming week)
    ◦ What assignments are completed and which are still open?

• Report Out Customer/Employee headlines
    ◦ What are customers saying?
    ◦ What are employees saying? Where can we de-hassle their work?

• IDS (Identify, Discuss, Solve) an important tactical or implementation level issue
    ◦ Collective Intelligence
    ◦ Executives provide their input on what topic they feel is most important in Metronome 12 hours in advance of the meeting
    ◦ Take notes in the IDS section of the Metronome meeting

• Capture Action Items and the “To Do” List
    ◦ Who What When (WWW)
    ◦ Capture WWW real-time as Priorities and Action Items in Metronome

• One Phrase Close
    ◦ Capture everyone’s mindset with each team member contributing one phrase to close the meeting
    ◦ Capture in Metronome

The Monthly Strategic Management Meeting

This is a critical meeting for leadership as it is the foundation of strategic execution. It is an important indicator of a company’s strategic aptitude and their leadership of disciplined execution. As such, a strategic training topic should kick off the meeting as a means of continual education for the management team. It is the appropriate place for big topics, those that will have a long-term impact on the business. These issues require more time and a different setting, one in which participants can brainstorm, debate, present ideas and wrestle with one another in pursuit of the optimal long-term solution. Each strategic meeting should include no more than one or two topics, identified in advance, and should allow ample time for each topic. This meeting is also a critical one to review the prior month’s financial results as well as take a deeper dive into the status of execution of Quarterly Priorities. Recommended time is 2 – 4 hours or less.

Note: all team members should have their meeting updates, Metrics and Priorities completed in Metronome at least 12 hours prior to the meeting.

Sample Agenda:

• What personal good news do you have? (focus is on personal to stimulate the alpha state)

• Monthly strategic training topic
    ◦ Promotes shared learning and thinking as a management team
    ◦ Monthly Audit of the Rockefeller Habits

• What WINS do you have from the prior and current month?
    ◦ Focus on specific achievement of monthly and quarterly business goals

• What items did you MISS on?
    ◦ What did you intend to achieve or accomplish but did not?
    ◦ Shows a lot about leadership character on how managers handle accountability (or not!) for misses and their recovery plans

• Monthly review of Financial Statements
    ◦ Focus on Income Statement, Cash Position and AR/AP

• Executive report out on Critical Numbers, Metrics, Lead Measures and KPI’s
    ◦ Review Metrics Scorecards real-time in Metronome
    ◦ What Critical Numbers are you focused on to drive the business?
    ◦ How is performance on Critical Numbers?

• Quarterly Rock/Priorities Review
    ◦ Review Priority updates real-time in Metronome

• What Customer and Employee Insights or Trends are you seeing?
    ◦ Identify trends based on feedback from the weekly meeting.
    ◦ Develop action plans real-time in Metronome

• What help do you need from the team?
    ◦ Where are you stuck?
    ◦ Are there processes and inter-departmental flows that can be improved?

• IDS (Identify, Discuss, Solve) The Most Pressing Business Issue
    ◦ Executives provide their input on what topic they feel is most important in Metronome 12 hours in advance of the meeting
    ◦ Take notes in the IDS section of the Metronome meeting

• One Phrase Close
    ◦ Capture everyone’s mindset with each team member contributing one phrase to close the meeting
    ◦ Capture in Metronome

The Quarterly Strategic Planning Retreat

These provide an opportunity for the leadership team to step away from the business, literally and figuratively, to assess a variety of strategic issues. The update and execution of The One Page Strategic Plan (TOPSP) drives the agenda. In addition to strategic components of the TOPSP, topics such as the interpersonal performance of the team, specific elements of the company’s strategy, the performance of top-tier and bottom-tier employees, moral, client success and satisfaction, competitive threats and industry trends are resolved. This meeting’s focus is on execution of the next 90 day “sprint” toward the next waypoint on your company’s BHAG. Duration of the meeting is typically a half to a full day depending on company need. Note: all team members should have their meeting updates, Metrics and Priorities completed in Metronome at least 12 hours prior to the meeting.

Sample Agenda:

• Team Exercise or Icebreaker

• Team: Prior Quarter-What did You Commit to–How did You Do?

    ◦ Develops individual accountability and lets the CEO see the difference between A, B and C Player performance real time

• CFO report out on Financial Performance
    ◦ Prior Quarter Financial Results (CEO to also update quarterly targets in Metronome)
    ◦ Present Financials in Scaling Up Cash

• Review of the Rockefeller Habits

• Strategic Training Topic

• Update the SWOT and SVT (SWOTT)

• Core Values: Small set of Timeless Principles

• Core Purpose: What you are Deeply Passionate About…?

• Strategy & 7 Strata of Strategy

• Sandbox – Juicy Core Customer

• Core Competencies: What Can You Be Best in The World At…?

• X Factor: 10x Underlying Competitive Advantage

• Profit/X: What Drives your Economic Engine?

• BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal)

• Brand Promise

• Systemic Actions for Values, Purpose and BHAG

• Goals: 3 Years & 3 Year Key Thrusts/Capabilities

• Goals: 1 Year

• 1 or 2 Critical Numbers-Upcoming Year & Quarter

• Key Company Priorities/Rocks/Goals/Actions-Upcoming Quarter

• Key Metrics/Lead Indicators

• Develop Rocks and 13 Week Personal Executive Priorities/Plans in Metronome real-time

• Share Plans in Metronome (Roundtable Review)

• Theme and Rewards

• Schedule/Confirm Future Dates

• One Phrase Close
    ◦ Capture everyone’s mindset with each team member contributing one phrase to close the meeting
    ◦ Capture in Metronome

The Annual Strategic Planning Retreat

The annual strategic planning retreat is similar in agenda to the quarterly, however is more strategic in scope where the prior annual plan is assessed, current realities tested and a new long range strategic plan is formulated.

In the annual retreat more focus is directed towards the core ideologies, the BHAG, the hard work of strategy formulation and the development of 3-5 year strategic thrusts that will meaningfully differentiate the company. Duration of the meeting is typically a full day to two days depending on company need.

Note: all team members should have their meeting updates, Metrics and Priorities completed in Metronome at least 12 hours prior to the meeting.

Sample Agenda:

• Team Exercise or Icebreaker

• Team: Prior Quarter-What did You Commit to–How did You Do?
    ◦ Develops individual accountability and lets the CEO see the difference between A, B and C Player performance real time

• CFO report out on Financial Performance (CEO to also update quarterly targets in Metronome)
    ◦ Prior Year Financial Results
    ◦ Present Financials in Scaling Up Cash

• Review of the Rockefeller Habits

• Strategic Training Topic

• Update the SWOT and SVT (SWOTT)

• Core Values: Small set of Timeless Principles

• Core Purpose: What you are Deeply Passionate About…?

• Strategy (Deeper long term strategic dive into the Blue Ocean)
    ◦ 7 Strata of Strategy

• Sandbox – Juicy Core Customer

• Core Competencies: What Can You Be Best in The World At…?

• X Factor: 10x Underlying Competitive Advantage

• Profit/X: What Drives your Economic Engine?

• BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal)

• Brand Promise

• Systemic Actions for Values, Purpose and BHAG

• Goals: 3 Years

• 3 Year Key Thrusts/Capabilities

• Goals: 1 Year

• 1 or 2 Critical Numbers-Upcoming Year & Quarter

• Key Company Priorities/Rocks/Goals/Actions-Upcoming Quarter

• Key Metrics/Lead Indicators

• Develop Rocks and 13 Week Personal Executive Priorities/Plans in Metronome real-time

• Share Plans in Metronome (Roundtable Review)

• Theme and Rewards

• Schedule/Confirm Future Dates

• One Phrase Close
    ◦ Capture everyone’s mindset with each team member contributing one phrase to close the meeting
    ◦ Capture in Metronome