I've had my own firm for a long time (more than I like to admit at this point!). Throughout the years, I've tried many different approaches to team meetings, including:
Not having them
Having daily meetings
Having weekly meetings
Having biweekly meetings
Of course, the easiest approach is to have no meetings at all. We're all busy and meetings simply cut into work time. It's true that busyness can interfere with holding meetings, but it's hard to argue that no meetings are better than some meetings. Meetings have all sorts of great benefits, we're told, such as building a team culture and promoting communication. But it's hard to find the right approach to accomplishing these great benefits.
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Through our hard work, we found, like Goldilocks, that daily meetings were too many, biweekly meetings were too few, and weekly meetings were just right. Daily meetings were truly a waste of time. They quickly became repetitive, with each person reiterating what was said the previous day. With such frequent meetings, there was no incentive to prepare or look long term. Biweekly meetings were not frequent enough. There was no continuity, no opportunity to create momentum on new ideas or initiatives.
Weekly meetings were optimal frequency, but what about content and organization? After a concerted effort over a period of months, I believe that my firm has arrived at the perfect formula (at least for us!). We have a structure to our meetings with requirements for preparation. At a minimum, each person must read a current publication or two and be ready to present anything relevant to our practice. Additionally, we need to be prepared with updates or information to share with the group. The agenda is as follows:
Calendar updates - client appointments, vacations, group meetings along with coordinating who needs to be present at what.
Client updates - new or lost clients, clients about to retire or other significant planning situations
"Good and welfare" - life events, illnesses and any other notable happenings for clients and team members
Educational sharing - Individual team members share relevant educational material from their current reading.
Technology/practice management - individual ideas and brainstorming on areas that can be helpful to our practice either internally or in terms of client service
Anything else - This can include anything from coordinating plans for a client appreciation event to developing team goals.
By having an agenda, with preparation and full participation, our team meetings have truly been accomplishing a lot - not only specific tasks and projects but also a more cohesive team with a genuine focus on being the best that we can be. And, that's "just right!"