Meetings Don’t Have to Suck

We name our meetings and they don’t suck. Scandalous, I know. It wasn’t one of those intentional things, the naming I mean, it just sort of happened over time. But it’s one of those little things that makes us the us we have become. Each name is descriptive and also sets the tone. So here is what a typical week of meetings looks like for our team.


 

State of the 8

This is our “all staff” Skype call. The big guy. We have a template for the topics and flow, and we even do a decent job of following it.

First we pray. I know, spooky! Don’t judge us, we won’t judge you. Deal? Deal :-).

We usually launch right into a session where we celebrate our victories. Everyone collects these items throughout the week and we reflect on them and do a little virtual high five via Skype. We want to resource the Church and we want to “destroy the market” by making excellent products and dominate our niche and it’s good for us to remind ourselves “why we do what we do.”

We read books together as a team like ReWork or Delivering Happiness. Sometimes faith-based book studies as well.


 
Then we cover product updates at a very high level. We have a separate meeting for the details. Sales updates and promotion planning. That sort of thing.

Our team has a central collection point for meeting topics that we use throughout the week. We lob topics in and wait until this meeting to discuss them. This saves time because the conversations can happen at one time, instead of everyone spending sideways energy on multiple conversations throughout the week. It is important to keep in mind though, that these topics are only viable if they pertain to everyone on staff.

Then we close in prayer.

The template looks like this:

  • Open in prayer
  • #WINNING? Charlie Sheen style?
    • How did we resource the non-profits/Church?
    • How did we destroy the market (in a good way)?
    • Standout posts, tweets, comments, emails, customer experiences?
  • Book discussion (Intermittent)
  • State of the 8
    • Product roadmap
    • Major milestones
    • Team contributions
  • #Meeting & open floor
  • Close in prayer

Feel free to use or adapt, it has served us well!

Dev Blitz


 
This is where we hash out the micro-level product details. We discuss feature candidates and prioritize them, then we scope them for a release. We get team updates on progress in the major areas of scope, architecture, design, implementation, testing and documentation.

Snugglefest

This is a meeting with John and I where we talk about vision, leadership, direction, products & services at a macro level. Or we play Super Mario Brothers Wii. One of those.

Friday Jam Session

This is a fun one. It’s basically time that we reserve for the topic du jour. It could be product related or sales promotion details or a product site redesign brainstorming session or even, like last Friday, a video shoot for one of our business partners. You just never know. But the cool thing is that all the local kids meet in the same spot on Fridays and hold impromptu meetings throughout the day and that frees us to use all the other time during the week for heads-down productivity.


 
Our meeting schedule is pretty set and we rarely need to meet outside these pre-established times and that keeps our logistical management down to a minimum, which is a huge benefit.

Oh! And every single one of these meetings could be cancelled on a whim if they are not needed. We do not meet for the sake of meeting! We reserve time, in case it is needed. But any time we can cancel a meeting, cosmic balance is restored to some part of the Universe.