How Our Team Runs Our Weekly Meeting
Fellow productivity nerds, this one is for you.
I love the nuts and bolts of how a meeting is constructed. I love putting together an agenda, checking off boxes, and seeing our team gel and move forward together as the result of a well-executed time around the table.
My central Guest Services Team – consisting of me and two others – have a standing weekly meeting where we update current projects and strategize future projects. (We also have a quarterly mini-retreat where we punt some of our blue sky planning…read about that here.)
Our weekly meeting lasts two hours. Yep. Two hours. Two. Hours. Every Wednesday from 10-12, we’re at the table together. You’d think this is a dreaded time, but we actually look forward to it. In fact, we recently increased our time from 90 minutes, because we wanted to have a bit more time to explore the nuances of some of our topics.
Here’s how we break down the two hours:
First: tactical check-in and a spiritual check-up. Each of us rotate weeks to lead a session called “Growing together.” Nine out of ten times, that means a devotional of some sort. But each person has permission to simply talk about a book they’re reading and what they’ve gleaned from it. The in-charge person then leads out in a prayer time where we fill each other in on what’s going on in our lives and our ministries. Total time for this “growing together” time is typically 20-25 minutes.
Second: quick updates on small issues. These are the “no more than two minutes” discussions, usually on far-in-the-future projects: We confirmed doing baptisms on the third week in August. We were able to score the classroom reservation for our June meeting when VBS is going on. I heard back from our vendor on pipe and drape, and they said… Total time spent here varies, but usually it’s no more than ten minutes.
Third: deep dive on our big rocks. At any given time, we have two or three big events or projects in the immediate vicinity. We will spend the rest of our time (about 80-90 minutes) working through our punchlist and making assignments: Do we have the final agenda? When will the slide deck be ready? Have we secured the welcome team? When does the email go out to volunteers? A lot of this is informed by some variation of our event checklist, which you absolutely need if you’re not currently utilizing one. (See an example of ours here.)
A few other things of note:
Anyone can add to the agenda. This is not my meeting, but our meeting. Anyone on the team can say, “We need to talk about ___,” and by golly we talk about ___.
Asana is our current project management app. After several years working out of Google Drive / Docs / Sheets, we recently made the jump to Asana. I experimented with Asana several years ago and didn’t love it, but my second time in the waters have been much better. What we like is the real-time collaboration and the ability to assign tasks and due dates.
We need more in-the-moment prayer. Our entire staff team has a renewed focus on prayer this year. One thing that came up recently in our weekly meeting is the need to not just pray at the beginning of our meeting, but throughout our meeting as we get stuck, confused, thankful, or frustrated. This is something we want to implement more of.
The fourth Wednesday is “bag day.” I’ve mentioned previously that we batch our meetings, and the fourth Wednesday of the month is a doozie. By the time we come together at 10 am, the three of us have been at the office for four hours and we’ve led two meetings (our HCV Cohort and our monthly Guest Services Directors meeting) of up to 45 people. We’re done with meetings. So we utilize that day’s block as a time to top up our First-Time Guest bags. It’s mindless work and allows us to simply catch up with each other in unstructured conversations.
How do your team meetings function? Comment below.