Invigorating boost or damp squib?

Wimbledon spectator with umbrella
Are your quarterly review meetings the strategic boost they should be or do you and your people simply leave the room and go on with business from where it was left off?

You may have agreed some actions to catch-up on missed targets or to resolve some problems raised, but was the meeting and outcome worth the time and effort it took to prepare and attend?

Add up the number of people involved in your quarterly review meetings, the time taken to prepare for and have the meetings. You’re potentially looking at man-weeks of time and effort.

Even if you do everything you can to make the meetings effective in both their preparation and execution you still may not receive the information you need to make the necessary corrections to keep your business on course.

This is because, peoples’ emotions and office politics can get in the way. People don’t always want to say what’s on their mind for fear of the consequences. If the meetings appear to go too well, with no challenging questions being asked, then this may well be the reason. Peoples’ careers are of course vitally important to them and not raising a problem because they don’t wish to rock the boat is both common and understandable.

If you don’t get the answers you need, regardless of how tough they are to hear, then you may miss a vital issue that could grow into something that has a big impact on your business if not addressed. This is where bringing an external facilitator into these meetings can make all the difference.

An objective outsider, who knows your industry, can quickly come up to speed on your strategic priorities and goals, speak with a selection of people in your company and ask the hard questions, or raise the issues in the meetings that others don’t want to. Because of their objectivity and experience, they may also ask questions that no-one else thinks of.

Issues and ideas need to be raised and discussed. Review meetings need to be a boost to the company and the people who spend so many hours of the lives working in it. The return for having these meetings needs to be worth the time and effort invested. You cannot afford them to be damp squibs.