blog overview
Goal Setting
Frans Riemersma, 16 Feb '17

The ‘Weekly Speed Update’ - The Meeting Everybody’s Been Missing

The Daily Standup is widely used for operational tasks. Use the Weekly Speed Update for discussing strategic goals. Create alignment in minutes.

As you may have noticed for yourself, we meet a lot. 62 times a month to be precise. 47% now cite ‘too many meetings’ as the number 1 time waster at the office.

Less than 1% of meetings is shorter than 30 minutes. But once in a meeting, half of the time is wasted. It’s evident that something needs to change.

Luckily, there are some proven ways to improve your company’s meeting-culture. There are 4 times as many monthly meetings than there are weekly meetings, but the latter are much more effective, stats say.

Teams meeting daily or weekly are more likely to find their meetings valuable (70% of them do), than those meeting biweekly or monthly (49% of them do).

61% of ‘most effective’ B2B marketers meet daily or weekly, instead of biweekly or monthly. 72% of those same ‘most effective’ marketers find meetings very or extremely valuable.

Does the ideal meeting structure exist? Yes!

Although few companies have managed to create an actually effective meeting-culture, it is not impossible. Far from it. Inspired by the above stats, we’ve developed a new type of meeting that’s short and effective.

We call it the Weekly Speed Update. For optimal results, combine it with the Daily Standup.

The Weekly Speed Update incorporates some successful elements from the Daily Standup, and with some crucial tweaks, it is now perfect for discussing strategy in record time.

Make meetings effective – The secret ingredients

An effective meeting is one that helps you achieve goals. Gail Matthews proved that to increase the likelihood of achieving goals, you need to…

  • Write goals down
  • Formulate action commitments
  • Write progress reports
  • Send reports to a supportive friend

Now, how can we translate these findings into simple working methods for effective meetings? Here are two rules of thumb to get your meetings back on track.

Focus on priorities only

We’ve all experienced how people are prone to drifting off course when in a meeting. This is because people rarely know what their priorities are.

As a result, they mention anything and everything as quickly as possible. It is a popular fall back strategy to just share as many details before being interrupted. Mentioning everything burdens others, who then have to identify other people’s priorities on their own account.

The underlying reason for this behavior is ‘fear for accountability’. When mentioning everything, at least you cannot be blamed for not having said it.

However, it is astonishingly easy to get rid of that fear driven culture. Meeting participants just need to take responsibility and figure out what, in their eyes, are the priorities. It will feel scary at first, but after a couple of meetings, you will notice people becoming more pro-active.

Distinguish between tasks and goals

In addition of the ‘fear for accountability’, there is a more practical reason for not being able to focus on priorities. It is people’s inability to separate goals from tasks.

There is a destination, and a road that leads to that destination. The destination is the goal. The road towards it is made up of tasks.

Don’t just formulate goals and write them down, but also be specific about how to achieve them. Formulate ‘action commitments’ and plan tasks to be performed.

The key to holding effective meetings is being able to distinguish between (commercial) goals and (operational) tasks. Which is something we’ve written about in detail in this article.

Reserving different meetings for goals and meetings for tasks will finally get your team the focus they need.

Daily meetings won’t turn into endless strategic discussions. Strategic discussions won’t sway off course when people start to elaborate on ‘yesterday’s operational misfortunes’.

The Daily Standup & Weekly Speed Update

Here’s how the Daily Standup and Weekly Speed Update compare.

The 6 elements of the Weekly Speed Update...

Ready to make your meetings shorter and more effective? We’ve got the recipe. Here’s what the Weekly Speed Update looks like.

1. Discuss strategic goal progress

Talk about the t goals you are currently working on. What does success look like? Mention this week’s main goal to reach your postcard destination.

2. External, commercial

Stick to one playing field, the outside world. How would you like to change customer behavior, ultimately? Focus on what you want customers to do, rather than on how you want your internal organization to operate.

3. This week, next week

Share what you accomplished this week and what you will deliver next week. Make your goal realistic. If you aren’t on course for reaching your goal, take corrective actions and change tasks. You will see that throughout the week, colleagues will propose new ideas.. It’s the sign of true collaboration.. 

4. One main priority per person

 Focus on just one goal or topic. What would you like listeners to think about when they drive home? Explain what success you’ve achieved, roadblocks you experience and task you have at hand. So perhaps they can step in and help out. Don’t string together a series of vaguely related topics. 

5. Team & management

Report to operational colleagues as well as the management. How will your plans delight the C-suite? Don’t just consider your direct peers, think about how the company as a whole will benefit. 

6. Up to 3 minutes per person

Limiting speaking duration helps tremendously to make people focus on what’s really, really important. How are you going to make every sentence count? Don’t try to outrun the timer, but make sure every sentence is a memorable one.

Introduce your team to the Weekly Speed Update

During the Daily Speed Update you share and update existing goals. So where do your first strategic goals come from?

To get your team in the right gear from day one, we recommend holding a kick-off meeting. To think up and draft initial goals, you might want to get your team together for an entire day.

Invest 8 hours once, and hold your Weekly Speed Update to keep your goals fresh and relevant.

With our clients, we’ve created an hour-by-hour template to structure your kick-off workshop. Combine the workshop with the ‘Weekly’ and the ‘Daily’, and your company’s meeting-culture will be unrecognizable a couple of weeks from now.

While the whole world is struggling to hold effective meetings, you and your team have finally cracked it. Reaching goals is about holding effective meetings. And from now on, holding effective meetings is what you do best.

Try Boardview for FREE to structure goals, and to keep meetings short and relevant.

Want a sparring partner? Schedule a 15-minute FREE consultation.

We’re always here to help.