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Most people hate meetings. In my opinion they don’t hate all meetings, they just hate badly run and drawn out meetings. (That’s another blog post).
If you are an entrepreneur and you are post start-up, in growth phase, I believe it’s critical that you form a team, the team that will help you to get your business to the next phase. Before they can act like a team, they must feel like a team. So you got to treat them like a team. Which means from time to time, you should get them all together and talk to them all together.
Why ? So everyone can hear the same message.
If They Don’t Know They Are Going, They Can’t Get There
An all staff is the time to tell everyone – and I mean everyone, no exceptions – where you are going. What you really mean, is tell them where you want them to go. It’s your job to give the end destination. They look to you for that information. You are the captain of the ship.
You may think it’s obvious but I can guarantee you that unless YOU tell your team, they won’t know. And if they don’t know, they can’t get there.
Simple Can Be Effective
My first experience of impactful all staff meetings were in Dell. They packed hundreds of over-achiever types (guilty!) in an office more akin to an airport hanger. Windows were a luxury and share options were the norm. We were culted. This was before the era of free meals, vending machines, coffee machines, putting greens and pool tables in the office.
However the quarterly all-staff meetings were both memorable and impactful to me at that early stage of my career.
They focused very simply on a few things – and repeated those headings at every all-staff. I like that. You know what to expect. And it’s easier for management and / or presenters as you don’t have to think up new stuff for each meeting. Topics included:
- Highlights of Last Quarter
- Lowlights of Last Quarter
- Performance against Target
- Things to Be Aware of for Next Quarter
There was usually a competition. (As some cad joked, first prize was one Dell laptop, second prize was two!). The mood was light as you can tell. We collected a coffee or can of coke plus a donut on the way in as we took our seats.
None of the above mattered, although I remember it clearly after so many years.
What I really loved was it reinforced the sense of togetherness. We were fighting a battle against competitors. It was us versus them. We won a lot. The sense of team was huge. The direction was clear. I left those all staff meetings buzzing (not just from the coke) and was ready to fight battle all over again.
I love all staff meetings. What are you waiting for ?