How to Run an Effective Quarterly Planning Meeting
Have you and your leadership team ever set aside time for a quarterly meeting and come out of that meeting maybe unfocused or demotivated because of everything that you have to deal with and you don’t come up with an effective plan of action?
I’m going to share with you an effective way to run a quarterly planning session, where you come out of that meeting, energized, focused, and ready to take action to achieve your priorities over the next quarter.
First of all, what is a quarterly meeting?
It’s the time that you and the leadership team take, away from the business, four times a year to plan out what you’re going to accomplish over the next quarter. And a lot of business owners get it wrong. They don’t have an effective agenda to run this meeting.
What happens is, they end up reviewing what happened in the past quarter, getting into the weeds on some of those problems and not really coming up with effective go-forward strategies. So it can end up being a bit of a waste of time.
Here’s an agenda that’s going to help you have an effective meeting so that you can move the business forward.
First of all, your environment matters. Get out of your office, your shop, your plant, wherever it is. Go somewhere nice, that has lots of natural light and is comfortable so that you can get rid of some of the environmental constraints of doing the thinking that you always do in the environment you’re always in. We want to get somewhere fresh. That’s number one.
Then you want to review: How did we do over the last quarter? Let’s celebrate, what are the wins? What are the things that went really well? What are the challenges that we had? There’s always challenges. What are the learnings that we got from our wins and from our challenges? We want to do that review to make sure that we’re capturing those learnings that we can take forward.
The next thing is, you want to examine your strategy:
Is our strategy still effective? Based on what’s changed over the last quarter with our target market, with the market in general, the economy, et cetera, is the way we’re going to market still effective?
Assuming yes, the next thing on your agenda is to set your priority for the next quarter: What is it we’re setting out to achieve? And you want it to be very, very specific. One thing. You might have a lot of things that are important, but there’s going to be one key priority that you and the team need to set to be able to achieve over the next quarter. And that’s going to drive your critical number.
This is the metric that you’re going to focus on achieving, measuring, and managing throughout the quarter to make sure that you are clear that you’re making progress and if not, what to do about it.
The next thing is you want to have a plan of action. What is it that you’re going to do to actually achieve your priority? Three to five “rocks” or sub-priorities to focus on executing, that when they’re complete, the overall priority is achieved.
After that, determine how to keep it fun.
How do you keep our priorities and critical number alive? Have a theme and a reward so that everyone is engaged, the whole team can understand what the priority and the critical number is. The theme keeps it fun and engaging. And the reward is something to look forward to for when you win.
You want to wrap the meeting up with top learnings from the day, and make sure that everyone understands what the action plan is moving forward, commit to who is going to do what by when, and when you break, everyone’s energized, focused, on fire, knowing where you need to go.
If you’re not sure what you should be doing for your quarterly meeting, or you’d like some help, let me know, I can help facilitate that for you or share in a little more detail about what to do so you can run it yourself.