Off-track, rabbit trails, tangents…In our personal lives, it can be enjoyable to watch a conversation with an old friend meander through a variety of topics with no particular goal in mind. However, in business, these same types of conversations can make you want to stick a fork in your eye. We’ve all been there; the big meeting to discuss sales goals is finally here. It starts off in the right direction, but one minute you’re discussing your sales pipeline and the next minute you’re discussing the best place in town to buy seafood.
As a professional EOS® implementer, I see this often. Teams hate meetings because they simply aren’t good at them. However, for every minute you spend in an effective meeting, you can gain up to seven minutes outside of the meeting. This is the beauty of the EOS L10 Meeting™ Agenda.
With the L10 Meeting™ Agenda, we begin by reporting. We spend the beginning of the meeting simply reporting on the statuses of our weekly to-dos, our scorecard metrics, and our quarterly goals. And when, during simple “on-track/off-track” reporting, someone succumbs to the urge to go down a rabbit trail, we get to use three of my favorite words: “DROP IT DOWN.”
Why is “drop it down” so powerful? It lets the speaker know that we value their idea, but it would be better addressed in a later portion of our meeting (the “IDS” section of the meeting). Your team can save minutes, and even hours, by learning to “drop down” any issues or topics of discussion to the appropriate portion of the meeting.
When we come to the “IDS” (Identify, Discuss, and Solve) portion of our meeting, the team prioritizes the most important issues to address, and then proceeds to start solving them. “Dropping down” off-topic issues to the IDS portion of the agenda keeps your team disciplined and efficient, and most importantly, insures that you’ll never hear someone complain about a boring, unproductive meeting.