I wish we had another Zoom meeting, said no one ever!
We spoke to Isaiah Nolte, Integrator and President at Traction® Tools, on “How to scale your business by supercharging meetings – 4 tips to getting it right” on the first-ever episode of the Chaos to Clarity podcast.
As part of our mission to help businesses unlock the next level of growth, we recently launched the podcast with Whale’s Co-founder and CEO, Gary Vanbutsele as host.
Each month, we’ll bring you ACTIONABLE insight from the world’s best to help you 10x your productivity and business success in just 10 minutes.
Who cares about meetings?
Businesses waste hundreds of hours a year in unstructured and unproductive meetings.
That’s my experience! I was often a part of meetings that would go on for three to four hours with no accountability. People would say, “Oh, we can do this or let’s do that. Or let’s try this. It was always these vague and ambiguous promises that nobody would deliver on.”
Isaiah says that’s why Traction Tools was built. In keeping with their mission to provide entrepreneurial teams the tools to grow and succeed, Traction Tools builds software for companies running on EOS®—a simple business methodology specifically designed for entrepreneurs. In Traction Tools, users can document To-Dos, manage team member roles, facilitate meetings and visualize goals to align all parts of an organization.
“Meetings are such a necessary part of running a business; getting everybody on the same page, aligning people’s goals and strategy.
Just by systemizing meetings through 4 easy steps, businesses can become more productive, which helps to focus and scale company efforts.”
Start with a system
It doesn’t matter what meeting system you use, just that you use one, states Isaiah.
If you run on EOS, you’ll be familiar with Level 10 Meetings™. In short, a Level 10 Meeting in EOS® is a powerful, weekly 90-minute meeting. It follows a set weekly process with the same agenda at the same time on the day each week, with the same team members.
At Whale, we work on Traction Tools, too, and it helps keep us focused and on track.
But isn’t that just adding ANOTHER weekly meeting to the mix?
Document for accountability
“Document! Make sure that everybody can see it, so that helps with the accountability and get away from the, ‘oh, you know, Gary’s going to track his stuff in his Excel sheet.’
No, it’s not going to work if everyone is doing their own thing. You need accountability!
Have meeting items and to-do lists documented; don’t have it be verbal or sitting in different platforms. Traction Tools makes it easy to do this with clearly organized lists and automated reminders. On top of this, Traction Tools makes it easy to stay up to date of who’s doing what in just one dashboard.
If there are policies and processes that come as a result of meetings, document them. Of course, we’d say document them in Whale as long as you document them.
Make sure ‘to-do’ lists are listed and followed up in subsequent meetings. Just these tiny behavior tweaks will supercharge your meetings.
“If you’re just verbally talking about a problem and nothing is documented. Or if you’re not tracking tasks, there’s no accountability, it’s complete garbage, and the meeting is useless.
And the week after, when you review our to-do’s and that comes up, you’ve forgotten what it was all about.
Every single task must get documented. It must, or there’s no accountability around it!”
“The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” ~ Bill Copeland
SMART = Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound.
“I’ve been on the leadership team at Traction Tools for seven years now. If I had known this at the very beginning of the journey, I think it would have helped us considerably. That is to be specific with naming.
And it’s so simple! Just use specific titles for things so that you do not have a vague title for a task. For example, “Meet with Gary” versus ‘Meet with Gary to prepare four items for the Chaos to Clarity podcast’ by the 1st of May.”
This is something we’ve been trying to focus on in Whale; how to be more specific. Who is going to do what, by when, and how are we going to measure it? It sounds simple, but it takes a little while to set as a habit because, in general, we’re used to brushing over detail due to all the information we consume daily.
Even when sending meeting requests or writing to-do lists, be specific, and you’ll find yourself being more productive without even trying!
Focus on wins and goals in and post-meeting
Celebrate the wins, says Isaiah.
Often you’ll spend a month on something, you do a great job, you get it done, or you get all your to-do’s done, and then everyone just brushes on by. Okay, here’s the next project!
In fact, one of our favorite books at Whale is The Gap and Gain, first introduced to us by Gary, emphasizes just that;
“We focus on that gap between where we are and where we want it to be, instead of focusing on the gain of where we started and actually ended up. It’s way more positive and reinforcing to live in the gain and not in the gaps.”