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?

Meeting close:

  • 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?

SpiceOnce 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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