First off. I think team meetings are really important. I'm not "anti-meeting" like a lot of people I've met / read about / etc. I actually think productive meetings are a great way to accomplish a ton of shit in a short period of time. Are their opportunity costs? Sure. Switching costs? Sure. I get it. Poorly run meetings can be death. But, successful meetings can provide necessary structure, kills multiple birds with one stone, provide motivation, or even reinvigorate an entire company!
I encourage people to switch up the way they conduct team meetings every six months or so. This seems like a long enough time for people to get into a routine of what to expect in team meetings, and also long enough where after six months people desire a change in pace. Change is good!
Here are two of my favorite ways to conduct team meetings:
Type A Meeting: (20 minute meeting)
1. CEO talks for 3 - 5 minutes about the business.
2. Exec team members talk for 60 seconds each about important projects in their respective departments (VP Sales talks sales, VP Marketing talks marketing, VP Engineering talks tech, etc).
3. Team members are invited to speak about interesting projects they are working on for five minutes.
4. Props: people on the team are invited to give praise to other individuals on the team who have helped them.
5. Who Needs Help?: this question is asked to the team, and team members are invited to say a project that they need help on from other people on the team publicly, providing accountability cross departments.
Type B Meeting: (20 minute meeting)
1. Moderator opens up team meeting with the "Theme of the Week."
2. One team member from each department is asked to submit a three-bullet-point update to the team.
4. Who Needs Help?
I have attached a number of examples below of a Type B meeting. I prefer it because it allows more people on the team to talk, and is less "top-down" (CEO --> Exec Team --> Team). I also like it because it allows the entire team to rally behind a theme each week. Sometimes the theme of the week is focused around sales. Sometimes the theme of the week is focused around product. Sometimes it can be a word like "Execution," other times will be something motivational, and other times will be totally wacky and fun. The point is to send a message to the team that "This week we need to focus on our Q3 sales goal HARD." Orrrr "This week we should celebrate our successes from last week." Orrr "This week we need to pay attention to testing our platform." Etc. You get the idea.
Check out the team agendas provided below (I deleted sensitive information and all numbers are fictitious).
Each one of these is typed up the night before the meeting and is printed out and handed to team members at each team meeting. Hope this helps!
2012.09.17 - Agenda for Tuesday Morning Meetings test
2012.09.05 - Agenda for Tuesday Morning Meetings test
2012.08.21 - Agenda for Tuesday Morning Meetings test