For more than 36 years, I’ve been dumbfounded by how executives and board meeting members can sit through endless, unproductive, and useless planning sessions. The funny thing is they agree that these “meetings” are boring, unproductive, and useless. How do they tolerate them? I can’t.
Quite simply, I want my time to be well spent or else I want to spend it with my family. I remember one woman saying to me that any time wasted in a meeting was time she could have spent with her child. And as a single mother, she was most adamant about that fact.
Decision Making Models for Executives
Executives get trapped doing work they shouldn’t be doing because it’s easier than dealing with the underlying issues. I suggest every senior team has a business meeting with one topic and they follow this decision making model.
Why should they follow this model? To free up time for your key leaders.
Certain issues should be dealt with from below and certain issues should be dealt with from above. This decision making model produces major insights because too many groups get caught analyzing things they shouldn’t be dealing with.
Vast amounts of time are lost on trivial matters.
The most important issues that key leaders should be dealing with are strategic issues and key initiatives.
Step 1: For the first 50 minutes, executives list every item that came before them and place them into the following three categories:
- a decision
- for their insights
- reports they receive
Step 2: For the second 50 minutes, reshuffle those items and place them into the following three categories:
- they should have dealt with
- those they shouldn’t have dealt with
- those they couldn’t deal with because they were poorly presented
Step 3: Decide which items you should deal with based on:
- those you should consistently deal with
- those you shouldn’t consistently deal with
Step 4: Pick out the top six items and assign them to staff.
Step 5: After those items are safely and consistently handled by staff, pick another six items and do the same.
Within a year, using this decision making model, you can take 24 items off the plates of your senior executives and board members. Now key leaders can finally deal with the most important issues.