Every time we have a quarterly meeting, I start to wonder as the date approaches if we really have to do it. I have so many entrepreneurial friends who work with their spouses or long-time business partners who never have these meetings. They seem to be just fine! Quarterly meetings are a lot of work, and sometimes when you get discouraged you start to think maybe you could get along without them entirely. When I fall into that mindset, however, I give myself a few reminders to help me snap out of it:
- I remind myself it’s not “just the two of us.”
I own a lot of companies and have dozens of employees. We need these quarterly get-togethers to go over what we have been doing, how we could adjust our practices, applaud our successes, and figure out what went wrong if we had any problems.
- I recall even tiny companies benefit from regular review sessions.
A lot of larger companies are foregoing their quarterly and annual performance reviews, which is one reason a lot of companies are now deciding to forego their quarterly meetings. However, it’s really important to realize a performance review, wherein the performance of a single employee is rated, often in a highly critical, public, and/or extreme fashion, is very different from a quarterly meeting where everyone is on the same side of the table, so to speak, evaluating the performance of the business. Great minds with similar goals all focused on my business success is one of the reasons I am always glad I didn’t cancel the quarterly meeting once I get there!
- It’s like a huge mastermind where everyone wants Good Success.
One of the things I require in my employees is that they have the same core values and focus on Good Success that I do as its founder and leader. This means that every quarterly meeting is basically a huge meeting filled with the most productive, positive learning experiences possible. I literally cannot afford to start missing this.
So what do we do in these amazing Good Success meetings?
Well, for starters, we look at all of the things we did well. When you think of a performance review, you think of all the things you did badly. After all, isn’t the idea to identify problems and then figure out what caused them and how to prevent a repeat? Well, yes, but the bigger idea is to create a stronger employee population and a better company. The way to do this is with honest praise, honest criticism, and a careful eye on the balance of the two.
Here’s how that could go even if we had a bad quarter the previous quarter, which fortunately we did not:
I might say, “You guys are awesome. You know, I think one of our companies sent me a list of 30 things they accomplished this past quarter. It was really busy, and we all got a lot done. Before we dive into what we did and didn’t do, though, I want to sit back and really absorb all of the things we did get done this quarter because those successes are my first focus. They are the real demonstration of what we did and I’m proud of us and I’m proud of every one of you.”
Now, does that mean I don’t talk with everyone about how they could have accomplished goals differently or in a more productive manner? Of course not! You will always have room to grow and improve, but I feel it is very important to start the meeting off with a strong, clear acknowledgment that a lot got done and that I am proud. I find that it helps all of us when we experience constructive criticism, which is useful but seldom enjoyable for most people.
Something Different Good Success is Doing
At a recent meeting, we did something that just convinced me even more that everyone, from the one-person operation to the 1,000-person operation, should be holding quarterly meetings. We set some goals. We called them “rocks.” These rocks are measurables that everybody has to hit every week and that may be easily reviewed in terms of whether or not the rocks were accomplished. We tried to keep them very black-and-white in terms of whether they got done so they would be a good tool for all employees for the entire quarter. Everyone seemed to really like having these rocks because they are so straightforward.
Once we established our rocks, we took it one step farther. We decided to make one of our rocks a concerted effort to refine our daily activities so that they are spent, to the greatest degree possible, on the most high-dollar-producing tasks. If you take a hard look at your business, you will see that about 20 percent of the people bring in about half of the income. On the other end, there are probably about 20 percent of people working for you who just having them around is costing you money. To identify the tasks that work this way, we created a start-and-stop board for our companies and listed the things, one by one, that bring value and the things that do not. Then, we decided as a group how to spend the time we freed up by ceasing performance of the non-value tasks and set up a series of “rocks” to help us determine if we accomplished them.
Friends, it was amazing. We changed so many things – for the better – about how we operate. Even better, we did it in a way that actually improved employee morale, which made the last meeting probably the best one we have ever had. You don’t want to miss out on that kind of quarterly meeting experience, do you? Of course not! If you want to learn more about how we establish our “rocks,” see the agendas we drew up with our new, high-dollar tasks in place of the old low-dollar ones, or get more information about the 80-20 principle, just send us your name and email and we will get a copy of that tool to you right away to help you experience more Good Success in your quarterly meetings.