- Why I Insist on the Monthly Meeting
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May 13, 2024

As a Scaling Up Coach, I've seen my fair share of eye-rolls when I bring up the Monthly Meeting. Trust me, I get it. As someone who values my time (and my sanity), the last thing I want is another meeting clogging up my calendar.

But here's the thing, the Monthly Meeting is non-negotiable. It's the linchpin that holds your entire meeting rhythm together, the heartbeat – the connecting piece between your daily check-ins, your weekly tactical sessions, and your quarterly strategic deep dives.

I know what you're thinking: "But I'm already talking to my team every day in the Daily Huddle! And we're getting into the nitty-gritty each week in the Weekly Meeting. Surely, we can skip the monthly check-in and save ourselves some time, right?"

Not so fast.

The Daily Huddle and Weekly Meeting are crucial for keeping the trains running on time. The Daily Huddle is your daily pulse check – it keeps everyone aligned and moving forward. The Weekly Meeting is where you dive into the tactical details, troubleshoot issues, and keep projects on track.

Skipping the Monthly Meeting is costing you more than you realize. Without this critical meeting, you're likely getting bogged down in the urgent and important tasks, stuck in the weeds of execution without the perspective to ensure you're on the right course. You're probably not investing enough time in crucial team building activities that boost morale, alignment and performance. And you're almost certainly not taking the strategic step back to confirm that your daily and weekly efforts are truly driving you towards your bigger quarterly and annual goals.

The Monthly Meeting is your chance to step back, gain some altitude, and ensure that you're still on course. It's where you review your key metrics (like your monthly financials), celebrate your wins, and confront your challenges. It's where you ensure that your daily and weekly activities are actually aligned with your quarterly and annual goals.

And speaking of quarterly goals, let's not forget about the Quarterly Meeting. This is your big picture strategy session – where you set your 90-day priorities and ensure you're on track to hit your annual targets. But without the Monthly Meeting to keep you honest in between, you might show up to the Quarterly Meeting with a lot of explaining to do. Trust me I've seen far too many teams fail to execute.

Now, I know what you're thinking: "Great, another meeting to jam into my already packed calendar." Believe me, I feel your pain. But here's the thing – the Monthly Meeting isn't just another meeting. It's a critical touchpoint that keeps your team connected, your strategy on track, and your sanity intact.

And when you have the right meeting rhythm in place – Daily Huddles to keep things moving, Weekly Meetings to dive into the details, Monthly Meetings to check your course, and Quarterly Meetings to set your strategy – suddenly, all those meetings start to feel less like interruptions and more like crucial steps on the path to success. When these meetings are in cadence they should reduce the number of meetings in your calendar.

So, if you're feeling the meeting fatigue, I get it. But don't let that tempt you into skipping the Monthly Meeting. It might just be the most important meeting you're not having – the one that keeps you focused, aligned, and driving towards your goals.

Here is my agenda for the Scaling Up Monthly Meeting which also works as an EOS Traction Monthly Meeting, adjust as you see fit. As for time commitment, I suggest 3 to 4 hours, basically a half-day.

Welcome & Check-In (5-10 min)

Open the meeting on an energizing note. Have each attendee share a recent success or positive update, personally AND professionally. This sets an optimistic tone and strengthens the team bond.

Team Development (30 - 60 min)

Note: Unlike other samples I've seen, I move this to the front of the agenda so the teachings and lessons can be instantly applied to the remainder of the meeting.

  • Dedicate time to the team itself. Discuss culture, morale, gaps or friction points. Highlight great collaboration or opportunities to work better together.
  • This may involve team activities, recognition, skill building or crucial conversations to strengthen trust, teamwork and performance.

Tip: See team development as essential, not optional. Per Scaling Up, people decisions are just as vital as strategy decisions for growth.

Scorecard Review (15-20 min)

  • Review key performance indicators and measurables versus goals. Celebrate wins, acknowledge shortfalls, and identify critical issues to discuss. Keep this data-driven and objective; if you feel a discussion forming, take note and drop it to the the Pressing Issues and Challenges portion of the meeting.

Tip: Focus on the most important numbers that give a true pulse of the business. Per Scaling Up, aim for 5-15 key metrics on a One-Page Strategic Plan

Headlines & Highlights (10-15 min)

  • Share major developments, changes, learnings or customer feedback from the last 30 days. Keep updates relevant and high-level.
  • At a minimum give shout outs to team members that are living the core values of the organization.

Tip: This is a chance to enhance team-wide communication and alignment. Encourage openness and active listening.

Pressing Issues & Challenges (30-60 min)

  • Prioritize the list of issues; I suggest emphasizing the Non-Urgent / Important first. Get to the root cause, explore options, and agree on next steps and ownership. Set clear action items with who/what/when.

Tip: Don't get stuck in tactical details or try to solve everything. Stay focused on the most critical priorities and empower the team to take point on solutions.

Quarterly Goals and Rock Progress (20-30 min)

  • Review progress and plans on the current quarter's Rocks (key 90-day goals), per Scaling Up and EOS terminology. Identify what's on track, behind, or at risk. Give them a letter grade for the likelihood of completion by their due date.
  • Refresh owners and action steps as needed to complete the quarterly goals.

Tip: Quarterly goal-setting establishes a 90-day rhythm to drive the business forward. Monthly check-ins maintain momentum and accountability.

Meeting Recap & Closing (5 min)

Summarize key decisions and action items. Confirm next steps and expectations before the next monthly meeting.

Close by recognizing great work and contributions. Reaffirm the team's focus and finish on an inspiring note.

I hope this agenda outline and tips are helpful for making your Monthly Meetings purposeful, productive and relevant! Let me know if you would like me to elaborate on any part of the agenda.

author avatar
George Morris
I use my 20+ years of entrepreneurial experience and training to coach businesses on scaling up rapidly using Verne Harnish's Scaling Up framework. By doing so, my clients are more efficient and profitable, giving them the ability to make bigger impacts in the world. I deeply believe entrepreneurs are the best equipped to be the vehicle for meaningful change, and in the decade ahead, we'll see a substantial shift in how business is done. We'll move to a model where company purpose, impact, curiosity, and team health will be differentiators in overall business success. As Simon Sinek has pointed out, the finite games are the legacy of the past; we're moving to an infinite game.