Adopt 25-minute meetings to speed up your execution pace

Macro view of a red kitchen timer showing 25 minutes

© Tweeter Linder 2017 – All rights reserved. Photo by iStock

Shorter meetings play a key role in increasing your execution speed. Where a work schedule of 16 half hours replace 8-hour days. This post addresses the behavioral shift required by all stakeholders. To make it a lasting change in how you execute internal meetings to speed up execution.

Why we need short frequent meetings

Increased speed and agile ways of working demand frequent meetings. Where each meeting must be shorter to not increase the total meeting burden.

A team operating with weekly 30-minute meetings are more agile. when compared to a team operating with monthly 2-hour long meetings. Even if the invested time is the same.

The short meeting enables extra focus and push when required. Where quarterly cadence moves to monthly. Monthly to weekly and weekly to daily. And used as long as the extra focus and push serve its purpose.

How you can contribute to the culture shift

Structure days around half hour blocks. Leave 5 minutes at the backend of each block for transition between activities.

Schedule preparation time a day ahead of short meetings. Short meetings require well prepared participants.

Be flexible to play different roles in different meetings.

Meeting organizer & chair person

To become a great short meeting organizer, you need a few core principles:

  • A clear template for invites to short meetings.
  • Make sure the included topics support the meeting objective. Each meeting is a new opportunity to deliver an expected result.
  • Plan how to secure meeting ends after 25 minutes.
  • Limit all pre-reading briefs to one page.

Secretary

Appoint a secretary in advance for all meetings.

Distribute minutes same day as meeting take place.

And decide how to share minutes. To participants and the ones missing the meeting.

Participants

Give feedback on agendas unclear on outcomes, agenda points and inputs.

Read all one-page inputs at least the day before the meeting.

All

Put increased attention on the agenda for short meetings. All need to strive for a higher quality and awareness ahead of the meeting.

Secure all meetings start at the top or bottom of the hour. Always sharp. Make it a priority to show up or call in on time. Give immediate feedback to colleagues showing up late.

Support colleagues leaving after 25 minutes by joining them. And plan for a 5-minute slack for transitions is key to start on time.

Questions for you and your team

  1. Why do we need shorter meetings – saving time, becoming more efficient or both.
  2. How many short meetings can we manage in one day – running 16×1/2h pace is tougher than 8x1h.
  3. At what time of the week do we have our most important meetings – schedule your most important meeting on your best times.
  4. Which of our current meetings do we need to run more often – cadence is a key part of setting a pace.
  5. Which invite format is best – subject independent and evolved based on meeting experiences.
  6. Who is our role model for leading short meetings – build on their best practices.

Additional reading suggestions 

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