• Brian Alwin

This One Thing Can Change Your Company's Future

Updated: Jan 12

Not unlike every other business owner, on my desk is a black three-ring binder. This binder contains leadership team meeting minutes dating back to 2006, the year my wife and my moving company was started. In fifteen years doing business, I can only find a record of fourteen meetings. Our moving company is not large, but we are above the 90th percentile in revenue for our industry niche so you would think leadership meetings would be more important and documented as such.


Of course, some meetings weren't documented and others were held informally or perhaps even skipped altogether. As a husband-wife ownership team, many mealtimes became meetings, so it’s not as though we weren’t regularly planning and communicating. We just didn't record it.


As I wrote in Taking My Own Medicine, for several years, our business was stagnant even while the economy was booming and our particular industry grew. However, the great “turn-around” in our business began over a year ago when we adopted a proven business operating system that put in place a strong leadership team, a long-term vision for the company, a working scorecard of key performance indicators and individual goals to help guide us toward that vision. I’m pleased to say that 2021 turned out, by far, to be the best year ever in top-line sales.


I was reflecting on this success with the leadership team and asked them what the highest contributing factor was. Their answer surprised me. It wasn’t the team, the vision or the scorecard. The answer was our weekly leadership team meetings.


Over a year ago, our business advisor gave us the blueprint for effective leadership team meetings. It sounds overly simple, but every week, we use the same agenda that allots for 90-minutes with the bulk of the time set aside for turning issues into actions. We as a leadership team agree this meeting provides more than any other single thing. It creates the difference between languishing and success.


It creates the difference between languishing and success.

As a team, we come together to connect personally, conduct the company’s business, raise and solve issues and then go back to our individual functions. These meetings have helped us build trust and deal with issues in an open and honest matter. In the past, a particular problem may have easily been forgotten or worse yet – “swept under the rug” – between leadership team interactions. This doesn’t happen anymore. We have trained ourselves to seek out problems so we can solve them and avoid recurrence. The team now actually feels a sense of loss in the rare week we cannot meet! Yes, these meetings have become something the team looks forward to.


I’m pleased to say that our leadership team meetings have also become the pattern for departmental meetings. One day soon, everyone in the organization will be speaking the same business language. The best companies create a culture of honesty, openness and good communication. Regular, effective meetings help improve each of these attributes.


As for the black binder on my desk, I keep it there as a reminder – a reminder of a “place” to which we shan’t return! Oh – and our meeting minutes are now held in “the cloud!”


Author, Brian Alwin, is a trusted partner and former client of The Resultants®. To learn more about Brian, connect with him on LinkedIn.

 

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