April 8, 2019 par Allison Tanner

Make essential business decisions: an innovative solution for effective meetings

You have to make decisions! Now.

Making decisions isn’t an optional part of running your business, it is essential, a do or die task. However, I am certain that the majority of you reading this have left business meetings wondering what on earth you decided. Did you actually decide anything?

As Fred Destin states so elegantly in his article Startup Board Meetings that Suck,  “good companies are run on a few metrics and an elegant framework for decision making.”

This article provides a fascinating read describing everything you do not want to do in a business meeting. From the long discussion of what happened last month, to the individual PowerPoint presentations and of course the incredibly interesting but completely irrelevant conversations, these decision killers can kill your business.

You can sit around over coffee and eat all the cookies you want but that doesn’t make decisions.

So, how do you structure a functional business meeting so that you can actually make decisions?

As Fred puts it, you need a few metrics.

I’m going to go a step further and suggest that your business meetings address a few key metrics that need the most attention. There is a time, a place and probably a meeting where you can scrutinize the ins and outs of the data but for board meetings, keep it to the essentials.

Identify Key Metrics

This is where you come in…

Ask yourself what really matters right now. What does your business need to get done today in order to be successful tomorrow?

Are you compliant?
Are you managing your risks?
Are you on budget? If not, why?
How are your sales?
Did you make a change in your strategy last month? If so, how is it working? What is the quick update on progress. NOTE: This is not a 20 slide presentation. You want to know is it working, yes? Okay… Move forward. No… Okay, what do you need to do to fix it.

Figuring out your key issues is necessary to organizing your meetings. After all, you are there to make decisions, so you better know what you are making decisions for. Using these key metrics can help you to identify what you need to discuss. Now, you just need to identify which metric you should discuss first.

What are the burning issues?

In order to have an effective meeting you will want to quickly identify burning issues and make necessary decisions.

This is where smartcockpit comes in.

Using your own indicators, you can quickly identify problem areas.

  1. Open up your cockpit and you can see that your sales are in the red.
  2. Drill down to understand why.
  3. Immediately discover that the inventory turnover is slowing down.
  4. Now you can focus on the crisis that matters. This means you can discuss and decide actions to take to overcome that issue.

When you know what you need to focus on it is much easier to structure an effective meeting. Not to mention all that time you will save now that you don’t have to make that long and overly detailed PowerPoint.

Don’t waste time deciding what to discuss or figuring out what is important.

Immediately know what is important.
Make a decision and act on it.
Note responsibility, attach files, and connect data.
Check the results at the next meeting.

You don’t have to use complicated figures, charts and graphs to make decisions. You just need to know what your key indicators are or what questions you need to address, make decisions.

When you have clearly identified goals you can quickly outline your meeting, move things forward and have time to talk about what you read in Business Weekly. We agree with Fred’s analysis and hope you can find the best way to run the most efficient meetings!


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