A Suggested New Year’s Resolution

Good morning to our clients and friends around the world! Happy new year! We hope you all had a restful and joyous holiday, and we look forward to charging ahead into 2024 with you.

Here is a quick thought to get our year started off correctly, something that we are taking on here at The Latimer Group. And perhaps this is something you can bring back to your organization.

Last year around this time, our team took a close and healthy look at our meeting culture. We examined all of our standing meetings, and challenged ourselves on the necessity of every meeting. In particular we examined a few specific questions:

  1. Does this meeting really need to happen on a regular basis? If not, let’s get it off the calendar.
  2. If it needs to happen, how often does it need to happen? Is it a weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or quarterly meeting? If we need to meet, fine. But let’s not assume that every meeting needs to happen every week.
  3. And if it needs to happen, who needs to be there? Who are the “required invites” and who are the “optional invites”? Let’s let some people off the hook, if they don’t need to be there. We can be inclusive, and leave it to their option. But an optional invite is a lot more liberating than a required invite.

The net result of asking ourselves these questions was that we eliminated a significant amount of time spent in meetings. Some meetings got cancelled altogether. Some occurred less frequently. And in many cases, we simply reduced the number of “required invites” and transferred those into “optional invites.”

All of these changes were a huge net benefit to our business.

We referred to this process as our “meeting quantity audit.” It was such a huge success for us, that we ended up discussing it with many of our clients throughout 2023.

So, this year, we are going to go one step further. Our next step for 2024 will be a “meeting quality audit.” This year, we will be examining what we do in all of our standing meetings, with a close look at how we can make the time more effective. Reducing the time spent in meetings was an outstanding first step. But the next step is arguably more important. We will be looking at how we prep for meetings; what gets on the agenda and what doesn’t; how we facilitate our meetings; and how we follow-up and make sure things actually get done.

In fact, this topic will be on our all hands meeting agenda this morning!

So, as we all come back from a nice and well-deserved break, let’s hit the ground running in 2024, by taking a close look at how we spend time internally. When we waste less time in too-frequent meetings, and when we make sure our time spent is really effective, we are better able to devote the saved time to other things that will make our businesses better and stronger.

This is one of our Latimer 2024 Resolutions. What are yours?

Have a great day, and happy new year!

Does your team:
– Take too long to make decision?
– Fail to ask for what it wants or needs from you?
– Make things too complicated?
– Deliver unconvincing or disorganized presentations?
– Have new hires who are unprepared to communicate in the workplace?

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Dean Brenner

A book about change

The Latimer Group’s CEO Dean Brenner is a noted keynote speaker and author on the subject of persuasive communication. He has written three books, including Persuaded, in which he details how communication can transform organizations into highly effective, creative, transparent environments that succeed at every level.