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Are your meetings sh*t? | Issue #184

9 tried and tested ways to improve meetings in your business

What makes a shit meeting? I bet you can give me loads of things. Endless waffling. Unfocused agendas. No tangible actions. The list goes on. Whenever I get Executives together to discuss meetings, there’s always complete agreement. It’s easy to spot all the things that are bad about meetings. But less easy to work out how to fix them.

Slating the whole idea of meetings has gained traction recently. I’ve read articles that urge companies to ditch them entirely. One made my blood boil. Cancelling meetings would ‘improve the efficiency of your team’. The company featured had two days with no meetings, and their employees claimed that they’d been more productive and accountable. 

Sorry – but that’s bollox! It’s like employees saying they were more productive during the pandemic because they worked from home. What they meant was they were working longer hours. Microsoft’s data didn’t show any increase in output. Just that employees were working well into the evening.

Meetings are where the rubber hits the road. They’re the living embodiment of your culture. Give me one hour observing a meeting in your business, and it will tell me everything I need to know about your company. Don’t cancel them.  Make them better.

How to Innovate Inside Large Corporations with Jim A Euchner

To stay ahead of the curve, organisations need to innovate. But how do you structure innovation if you run a large corporation? Where do you put the money? Who’s in charge? How do you get sales to not be a blocker? 

These are the questions (among many) answered by Jim A Euchner in this week’s episode of The Melting Pot. 

Jim is an expert in how to innovate inside large corporations having been Vice President of Global Innovation at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, where he led the development of new businesses and helped launch five businesses on three continents.

So if you’re wondering how your organisation can adopt a Lean Startup approach to innovation, don’t miss this hugely insightful episode with Jim.

Hurry Slowly

Hurry Slowly is a show about how you can be more productive, creative, and resilient through the simple act of slowing down. Through in-depth interviews with deep thinkers, artists, and entrepreneurs, host Jocelyn K. Glei sparks new ideas for navigating work and life at a more sustainable pace.

How Teams Are Retaining Employees Right Now

Why are so many people quitting their jobs? According to a recent McKinsey report, employers believe that it is a problem with compensation or work-life balance. But the employees who are quitting tell a different story. Their main reasons for quitting are 1) not feeling valued and 2) not feeling a sense of belonging. And yet during the pandemic, the most productive companies actually broke this trend and improved employee job satisfaction by 48%. What do these successful organizations have in common? They practice five principles, illustrated in this article, that help their teams connect and thrive.

When Terrible Things Happen To Good Innovation Projects

OK, we have finally realized that innovation and transformation are not optional for the long run well-being of a large enterprise. But that is a far cry from having the capability to do something with that understanding. The good news is that the things that sink innovation efforts are often easy to identify and eliminate.

5 Principles of Purposeful Leadership

The traditional model of the leader-hero who saves the day, knows it all, is the smartest person in the room, and is too often driven by power, fame, glory, or money is not appropriate in today’s environment. People today expect a different kind of leader. While each company needs to define its own leadership point of view, the author presents five attributes that characterizes leaders who are able to unleash the kind of human magic you see at work at some of the most high-performing companies.

The Motive by Patrick Lencioni

New York Times best-selling author Patrick Lencioni has written a dozen books that focus on how leaders can build teams and lead organizations. In The Motive, he shifts his attention toward helping them understand the importance of why they’re leading in the first place. In what may be his edgiest page-turner to date, Lencioni thrusts his readers into a day-long conversation between rival CEOs. Shay Davis is the CEO of Golden Gate Alarm, who, after just a year in his role, is beginning to worry about his job and is desperate to figure out how to turn things around. With nowhere else to turn, Shay receives some hard-to-swallow advice from the most unlikely and unwanted source—Liam Alcott, CEO of a more successful security company and his most hated opponent.

The Art of Action by Stephen Bungay

What do you want me to do? This question is the enduring management issue, a perennial problem that Stephen Bungay shows has an old solution that is counter-intuitive and yet common sense. The Art of Action is a thought-provoking and fresh look at how managers can turn planning into execution, and execution into results. Drawing on his experience as a consultant, senior manager and a highly respected military historian, Stephen Bungay takes a close look at the nineteenth-century Prussian Army, which built its agility on the initiative of its highly empowered junior officers, to show business leaders how they can build more effective, productive organizations. Based on a theoretical framework which has been tested in practice over 150 years, Bungay shows how the approach known as ‘mission command’ has been applied in businesses as diverse as pharmaceuticals and F1 racing today. The Art of Action is scholarly but engaging, rigorous but pragmatic, and shows how common sense can sometimes be surprising.

News from the farm

CEO Bootcamp with Verne Harnish and Dominic Monkhouse

What are the constraints in your business? What’s keeping you from scaling?

This September, Verne Harnish is coming to the first CEO Bootcamp in the UK to spend time with you and 9 other business leaders and their #2’s in a 4-day reinvigorating experience.  

You will work closely with Verne and Dominic to address your more pressing challenges and uncover those opportunities you’re overlooking and that will truly help you move the needle in your business.

Apply today to join Verne and Dominic at Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, near Bath (UK).

Monday 12th, September – Thursday 15th, September

Register Here


Hand your new starters a black book for them to give you feedback

As a company, transitioning from 30 to 100 employees is a significant culture shift. In the past, one of the things that I’ve done successfully is giving new starters a black book to write down stuff that they see as they start in their role. Things they think are strange, things they don’t understand or have seen better done elsewhere. Then, get them together once a month to spend time with you and review what they’ve written down. It’s a way of cultural transmission that can be very powerful. The people who get invited are the ones with six months or less in service. They’ll meet with you six times in the first six months. So, whatever questions or things come up, you’ll get the opportunity to make it right. For example, I remember one team member said to me once that there were no bananas on Wednesdays, so I made him accountable for the fruit purchasing so that there was always fruit for everybody.

Upcoming events

Scaling Up Workshop with Dominic Monkhouse – 23rd June

Are you on your way to achieving the goals to set up for this year? Is your team aligned and rowing in the same direction to execute your vision? If your answer is no, or if you hesitated, we can help. Join Dominic Monkhouse on a half-day practical session, to get away from the uproar of the everyday commercial world and look at your business afresh – to recognise your strengths, your weaknesses and your opportunities.

Quote of the week

“You have a meeting to make a decision, not to decide on the question.”

Bill Gates

Dominic Monkhouse

Dominic offers business coaching and management development, strategy planning and organisational change, using tried and tested methods to launch your organisation onto an unparalleled growth trajectory. His programme is a function of his broad experience, his deep expertise and a proven process used by over 2,700 firms worldwide.

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Sign up today and get your copy of F**K PLAN B: How to scale your technology business faster and achieve Plan A, the book that will change your business and your life.

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    Sign up today and get your copy of F**K PLAN B: How to scale your technology business faster and achieve Plan A, the book that will change your business and your life.

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