How to K.I.S.S. Lousy Operational Meetings Goodbye
Corporate teams love meetings. People who do the work can’t wait for meetings to end.
Use a K.I.S.S. agenda to run meetings real people love to attend.
#1. Keep: What do we need to keep doing?
- If you told someone how to make this work next time, what three things must be done?
- Who is essential to making this work? What are they doing?
#2. Improve: What do we need to improve?
- What would it look like if we made this 1% better?
- What one simple thing do we want to do next time to improve performance?
- If you told someone how to make this better next time, what three things come to mind?
- Imagine – if YOU made this better next time – what would you be doing?
#3. Stop: What do we need to stop doing?
- If we stopped doing this, who would notice?
- What’s preventing us from seizing a new opportunity?
- Where does it feel like we’re pushing the rope?
Focus on things within your control when exploring things to stop. Don’t send a memo upstairs telling others what they need to stop.
#4. Start: What do we need to start doing?
- If we had one free day every week, what new opportunity would we explore?
- What do you hope to do, but never seem to have time to get to?
- If you were a new leader here, what’s the first new thing you would do?
- What do we want to ask each other the next time we meet?
- Who does what by when?
The simplest operational meeting agenda I can imagine has two items and a close.
#1. What’s working?
#2. What could be better?
Spice: Once a month, add, “What do we need to stop,” to spice things up.
How might leaders run operational meetings that get things done and everyone loves to attend?
*I first read about Keep-Stop-Start in a 2011 HBR article by Thomas DeLong on Feedback. I added an “I” to create K.I.S.S.
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Love this idea! I have tried to expedite church board meetings with timed sections, reports via email, etc., but this might be the next new strategy to try! It’s not just a gimmick because it focuses thinking that leads to shorter meetings – or at least more productive meetings – because in reality some of the discussion over a couple of points might extend the meeting. But if it’s productive, no one is watching the clock.
Thanks Vicki. I hadn’t thought of board meetings, but the agenda makes sense. Just a note, I know that some leaders bring people in to tell a story of something that’s working. (Just in case that might be useful)
Another thing popped into mind. Perhaps the meeting could be focused… What’s working in xyz department. Next meeting it could be what’s working in abc department.
If everyone knows you’re going to use the same agenda, it might be easier to narrow the conversation since people know that you’ll eventually cover the entire organization.
The selections are great, thinking out loud I believe the spice of “what needs to stop” needs to used as often needed, you may need this in a couple meetings, depending on what has developed that need “spiced up”!
Your comment on focus what’s working in xyz department is spot on as well, let them know what works.
Definitely simpler process for sure for sure! 🙂
Thanks Tim. You’re insight brings me back to being context specific. Perhaps if you sense frustration the “stop” question is more relevant. Cheers
Agreed Stop is clear and concise no gray area, I’m on board…
It is soooooo difficult to STOP anything. Look at our government and the myriad programs that seem to continue in perpetuity based on laws written in the early 1900s. Fortunately, the POTUS is taking an ax to many of these ridiculous programs.
I Love it, Deeply, Widly, Wisely…
I Don’t Know How to stop Reading it!!