Effective Meeting Content, Cadence & Rhythm for Scale

Businesspeople working on laptop in an office.A highly successful fast growth company recently asked me for a more effective process to deal with his team meetings. Now that the company has grown 10x, meeting effectiveness was rapidly starting to breakdown.

Here’s an extract of my emailed response to them.

Format

Here’s my prefered cadence, subject to a better understanding of which (& quantity of) KPI’s you’re sharing, including a more detailed understanding of what’s going on in your business (looking under the hood) at this current stage.

  • Weekly @ 45m-90m
    • Wins @ 10-15m: One most significant progress made on one OKR. Going around the room, you should get 1 significant update on at least 6-8 OKRs (depending on allocation & quantity)
    • Rocks @ 10-15m: Roadblocks / impediments (current / on the horizon) to making progress on OKRs
    • KPI’s @ 10-15m
    • A/B Testing conversation (if relevant) @ 10-20m

  • Monthly @ 2-3h (expanded upon below)
    • OKR’s
    • Capacity Planning
    • Organizational Dynamics
    • New Business & Strategic Updates

  • Quarterly @ 1/2 day (90m work sprints & 15m breaks)
    • OKRs (retrospect)
    • Top 3-5 Priorities (retrospect)
    • DOS Conversation
    • Top 3-5 Priorities (planning)
    • Cascade Planning: done by the expanded Coordination Team

Still on What is discussed, since you should be looking at KPI’s (tactical) on a weekly basis, your monthly should be split into 2 parts. Part 1 is the tactical weekly segment & part 2 is the strategic monthly segment. @ Part 2 I would suggest the following order / sequence.

OKRs

In your retrospect process, make sure you’re looking at the activities that drive (lead to) successful KPI’s instead of focusing on the KPI itself. If not all, some of your KPI’s should be driving / contributing toward the successful achievement of your OKR’s.

Sizing of participation

6-8 is the ideal number of participants for an effective meeting, so consider (for future consideration) that at 10 currently, you’re close the max “productive scope” of 12 participants. At 12 & beyond your meetings will deteriorate significantly. You should be following a cascading planning process (top-bottom) & an agile scrum (bottom-up) in order to maintain the “executive team” at it’s optimal number of 6-8.

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