I wish I had known about this little habit-change from the first day I became leader of leaders.
I was never more worried about the energy in my team, than the day I changed our way of cooperating. How would they respond? Would it slow things down? But something had to be done.
Something had to be done. We had so many meetings in the company. And I noticed, that a lot of the meetings only generated more meetings. It was one thing with the meetings in the management team, but then there were all these self-generated meetings held everywhere. How could we stop that? By rules? By reasoning? For some people, meetings became the argument for getting things done. Don’t you want us to get things done quickly? they argued, at the same time everyone agreed, that there were just to many meetings. Would we – as a management-team – take responsibility for not getting things done by ruling out meetings? But the wasted time and lack of ownership was tremendous. And I have never regretted the change we did that day. Today the management team is admired for it's efficiency and it serves as an example for the entire organization. My only regret is, that I did not do this simple habitchange years ago.
We had all the best intentions as a team. The strategy was great and we were all committed to it. But somehow, we never had enough time to make all the intentions meet reality. There were always something. Something happening to us, hindering perfect execution. We always lacked time. We couldn’t hire anyone to tell us, what to do. Everything we heard, we already knew. We knew what was required to be great leaders and make remarkable results. None of us lacked knowledge.
Changing the way we cooperate meant new processes. Honestly, I worried that my team would use these new processes as jet another excuse for not achieve things. Would the process and method take away the focus from our important tasks. I mean the point of it all being, that we could not get things done. But I had made up my mind. We needed a fundamental change.
Where was the one place, we were always together giving me the perfect arena to make the most effective impact? Our weekly meetings off cause. This was where I was going to change the conversations and show, that we will do things differently from now on. I made the quality of our meetings the main task for me. And it worked almost immediately.
How to get the energy back into your team by changing one single habit
If you feel that there is not enough power and execution in your management team, it is probably because of the way you meet. You can keep wasting time and probably money on different solutions to revitalize the team energy and commitment. But until you change the way you cooperate in everyday life, it will have little or no effect.
Do you feel that you could do an even better job as a leader if you only had more time?
Time! Once wasted - you can never get it back
You walk from one meeting to the next. Sometimes in the evening, you can’t even remember the point of your first meeting. People around you feel frustrated and they let you know. But how can you solve this? The meetings just keep piling up, and there is never enough time to rethink the cooperation. When you finally have time, you must follow up and coordinate the agreements you have made. It is like you know what to do, but you have no time to do it. Maybe you even have a ToDoList and a wall of PostIts for things you must remember in your next meeting, and in your mailbox, you have all this flagged leadership development ideas, that you need to reed – as soon as you get the time.
Imagine if we only needed to talk about things once. If reminders were never needed and things got done. If you could spill your mind whenever, you had ideas, and by that make sure that things was discussed in the team end then: done. If you could get your leadership development ideas when you specifically needed them. Imagine if we could remove the feeling of time wasted.
What if I told you, that I have created this exact solution?
finding a way
I have been leading different management teams for more than 20 years, the last 10 years as a CEO. I found early on, that the difference between a great team and an average team is the quality of the conversations in the group. And we spend a lot of time in different leadership development setups to work with exactly this.
I have also been executive advisor to more than 100 teams at C-level and saw the exact same problem. The great intentions hardly connected to everyday life and when it did, It took a lot of hard work for the leader of the team. So when I got the chance, I decided to find a way to make this important task much more effective.
Make every meeting matter
By using a digital system to run your meetings
You don't have to be great with new technology. Actually, nine out of ten teams set up the system themselves in less than one hour.
There is no need to educate the team. When they receive their first email from the system, it will be just like receiving any word document with a meeting-agenda. Se the demo right here:
And when it comes to security, your documents couldn't be more safe.
At WhatGoesUp we know that our customers rely on us as an important part of their business processes and record keeping. We take our responsibilities to our customers seriously, and the security and reliability of the software, systems and data that make up the WhatGoesUp application are our top priority.
All information traveling between your browser and WhatGoesUp is protected from Thawte with 256-bit SSL encryption. The lock icon in your browser lets you verify that you aren’t talking to a phishing site impersonating WhatGoesUp and that your data is secure in transit.
The data in your WhatGoesUp account is replicated across multiple database servers in two geographic locations to prevent a single failure from causing data loss. Additionally, that data is backed up nightly to tape and stored in a secure offsite location to ensure that, even in the event of a catastrophe like a tornado or flood, your information will be safe and your records can be quickly restored.
There are quite a few meeting-systems already on the market. And they are great handling the documents involved in the meeting, helping most companies save a lot of time. But we want to also work with the processes, ensuring a higher quality of the conversations going on in the meeting. This is what reduces the need for follow up meetings. Research indicate that 25% to 50% of all meetings are called only to make up for poor meetings.
You might think you don’t need a fancy system.
... And that you can use solutions, that you already have, like SharePoint, Trello, Wrike etc. And you are right. You could do that. But you probably have other things you also need to do. And while you could do it yourself, should you? It would require that everyone else in the team has the same discipline as you. Otherwise you will find yourself, spending additional time following up on the use of the system. And designing how to use this project oriented system in a way that helps the management team, might cost you several hours. And still you need to design an agenda for every meeting, or get help from an assistant or a secretary. That often takes twice the time you need to meet – every time. Is that really the best way to spend your time and money?
Also, you might find, that you have no time right now to introduce a new system for the team.
... And you are right. While the team will only notice a cooler agenda, you will have to spend some extra time for the first couple of meetings, to get used to the design variables. But most of our customers report, that after only to meetings they feel the speed and smoothness by using the system.
This system is the digital answer to the best practices on meetings.
... And it is highly flexible and adaptable to the style, that already works for you. Just set op the system with the specific tasks and workflows in your team – it will take less than an hour and can be adjusted later – and the system will alert you by email whenever there is something, you need to do regarding your team meetings. Your attendees will receive a brief email and will be able to enter all finished agendas. It is intuitive – no training needed.
But. If you are one of those leaders, who does not believe, that a team can create better result than a group of individuals – never mind trying to improve your meetings.
Using this system will give you more success as a leader. It will give you a few simple habits, that will release the energy in your team.
Once it is set up, it will keep track of all the tasks, your team is working on. It will send an email with a draft agenda to you, guiding you through the important choices. It will keep reminding your participants of their tasks until its done.
Georg Andersen has been working a C-level in The Danish Finans Industri for more than 25 years. Today he is a board member in a range of different types of companies, and he is an executive advisor for big companies on optimization of capital structure.
”It is an excellent system that can help the team achieve at a higher level in many places. Even if a company already has a professional system, the integration that WhatGoesUp implicitly offers will be beneficial. It requires a highly disciplined and experienced board of Directores and executive board to keep track of all the processes, that WhatGoesUp can handle.”
Before I used to be late designing my meetings. Often it happened in the car on my way to the meeting. We had great meetings, sprinkled with ideas and a great sense of liking each other.
With WhatGoesUp I received reminders making me do the planning days before the meeting. The effect amazes me. My team are really getting things done.
They arrive at the meetings prepared and we have great discussions. It has changed the type of discussion we have, and I feel that we work more as a team now, creating better results.
Before the agenda and material to the meetings often came from different sources, so we all had to look through different emails to get the actual material. Sometimes people had different versions at the meeting, and often one or two haven’t even seen the material.
With what goes up the agenda is a link, and the attachments is always the correct. Plus, you don’t have to print it all, but can just access everything through your computer.
We never waste time anymore coordinating material. Everyone can prepare in their own paste being assured, that the material, they are working with, is the right one.
Before the agenda was usually set by the leader. Sometimes the participant got a chance to give input, but often it did not happen until we were all at the meeting.
With WhatGoesUp everyone gets a reminder to give input in due time before the leader designs the meeting. If the leader wants it. The feature can be turned on and off.
We act as a true team with a much greater commitment to the tasks we share.
Before we had great meetings! But as a leader I, and my assistant, spend a great deal of time ensuring the structure and materials.
Today we have a common platform to work from, and the time saved is amazing.
I do believe, that one entire workday is saved for every meeting.
Before I spend a lot of time making sure, that the agreements, made at the meetings, actually saw daylight.
Today I still must beware, but the people don’t forget or get lost in other activities. WhatGoesUp keep them alerted on their tasks.
We have fewer meetings between the meetings, because things get done.
Before I used to highlight and flag inspirational newsletters to read them when I had the time. But I never had the time.
With WhatgoesUp I get the inspiration specific to the actual agenda making it relevant and highly usable.
Now the team has discussions on a much higher level, than we have ever had causing a stronger engagement.
WhatGoesUp is designed by BetterMeetings, experts in Executive Meetings. These media have written about BetterMeetings over the last 12 months.
Research on meetings is a fairly new discipline. Earlier researchers have used meetings to study group dynamics and decision styles, but it has only been in the latest 10 to 15 years that research on the meetings in themselves has been done. One of the leading researchers in this field is Stephen Rogelberg from UNC. Together with Joseph A. Allen and Nale Lehmann-Willenbrock he has gathered some of the best research in The Cambridge handbook of Meetings science. In their introduction, they sum up: “What happens in workplace meetings has implications for individual employee attitudes such as work engagement, as well as for team and organizational performance” (p3).
On average 15% of an organizations collective time is spend in meetings. And the higher you rank, the more time you are likely to spend.
The Danish organization Lederne conduct research on the Danish leaders meeting-habits. In 2017, they concluded that leaders spend more than 17 hours per week preparing and participating in meetings. Unfortunately, they also concluded, that less time is spend preparing. That’s kind of alarming since the number of meetings is expected to raise, due to factors like digitalization, ways of cooperating and needs to “play ball”. The only way to reduce the number of bad meetings is to ensure a higher quality of the meetings, you need to have. And research shows, that the one key to higher quality is preparation.
This is how a team at C-level can use the system.
And here is the leaders first view, when the system reminds her to design the agenda. Se the demo of how easy this is.
– the system that helps you design better meetings
Using this system will give you more success as a leader. It will give you a few simple habits, that will release the energy in your team.
Here are the specific features, that will release time and quality for your benefit.
more specifically - here is how it works:
You will receive a link from us to access the system on line.
First, setting up the system, it will help you decide on how you will run your meetings. How much time do you need to prepare? Do you want your attendees to give input to the meeting? When do you want your attendees receiving the agenda and how long time is acceptable for the minutes to be released?
This will immediately release more time for you and your team. You can rest assure, that everyone in the team has the time to prepare. That alone will enhance the quality of your meetings.
Then it will ask you to define the fixed tasks, that your team discus in every meeting.
Then it helps you define the recurring annual tasks that must be solved in your team.
You can now upload key documents for the team into the system. This could be articles of association, rules of procedure etc.
No one in your team will ever have to search for key documents like your common principles for management, code of conduct or the like.
Finally, the dates for your meetings and the names and contact info of your attendees must be typed into the system.
There is video-help every step of the way and direct access to support.
Now you and your team needs only one click on a PC, Ipad or Smartphone to access the meetings. And of course, it is integrated into you every day calendar.
But you don't need to keep an eye on this, because the system will send an email with a link to everything you need, when your attention is needed.
When your setup is completed, we will give you a call making sure, that everything is set up in the best way for you.At this point we will also schedule an appointment for af phone-conference when the leader or admin needs to design the meeting and when the one writing the minutes needs to do this. This is to ensure, that you get all the benefits.
(Setting up the system yourself will normally take around one hour. But some teams need further assistance and require a half-day-process to get up and running. Please do not hesitate to contact us, if you need assistance. We have a growing network of certified consultants around the world.)
REQUEST YOUR PERSONAL LINK NOW
So here it is. You will get easy access for every member of the team via password protected link to all meeting-materials. The system has:
- Email-service. The system sends emails when it is time for the participants to give input og if they are overdue with a task. It reminds the leader when it is time to prepare. It sends the agenda etc.
- State of the art agenda-design and minutes. When designing the agenda, using drag and drop, the system helps the leader decide on the type of agenda-item, how much time to spend on the topic and who should be main-responsible. It is your choice if you share the timetable or not. A template helps the minutes-taker keep track of the important decision points and the new tasks generated during the meeting.
- Tools for engaging the team in and between meetings. Idea-sharing, facilitation, notes-sharing and surveys, processes specific to the agenda.
- Structure to ensure, that your team stays ahead of important management tasks. The system creates drafts based on the fixed tasks, the annual task former minutes and input from participants.
- Document-handling. Al documents can with one click be either printed og zipped. Any attendant can – at any time – access the system to check out upcoming meetings, add suggestions, revisit material from earlier meetings or check the to-do-list. But there is no need, because the system will send an email every time your attention is needed.
- Videokonference. Video is integrated in the system and is turn on by one click.
- Automated follow up. All new assignments are sent directly to the responsible persons email, and the system will send reminders until a task is done.
In addition, the leaders of the team get
- Statistics. Once a year the leader will get a report on the nature of his meetings compared to other teams.
The DeLuxe version has these additional features
- Meeting-culture-challenge. An initial analysis of your organizations meeting structure today including all you meetings and input on how to optimize and save time.
- One yearly tailormade process. Every team using the system has the right to one tailormade process (180 minutes process) designed to create a high-quality conversation in the team about a relevant theme.
Most new customers spend around one hour setting up the system, and there will be video-help and easy access to our supporters. Our team will always follow up with a phone call and make sure, that you get all the benefits of the system.
We charge Euro 199 per month per team for standard and Euro 249 per month per team for DeLuxe, plus setup-fee. Please contact us for offer and demo.
Attention: At the moment DeLuxe is "out of stock".
So, seize this opportunity to release the energy in your team by better meetings.
* The engagement can be terminated with three month notice.
100% satisfaction Guarantee!
If you don’t feel that the system has raised the quality of your meetings after four meetings, we will be happy to give you a full refund. And we will even create a tailor made three-hour leadership development process for your team, so you can help the team move forward yourself. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org and show us that you did the initial setup, designed the four agendas using the design-feature and wrote the minutes using the minutes-feature.