July 17, 2009

Agenda for CEO / Advisor meetings

Agenda for CEO / Advisor meetings

The agenda for the meeting is created by the CEO and emailed to the attendees at least 2 days before the meeting so that the attendees have time to review the agenda and prepare effectively for the meeting.

The agenda is an opportunity for the CEO to think clearly and organize their thoughts into priority sequence and budget their time accordingly. Visualize how you want the meeting to progress and how much time each topic should take. 

Time in the meeting is spent either Teaching (Status Review) or Learning (Discussion). The CEO wants to reduce the time he invests in Teaching his advisors and optimize the time and results he gets in the Learning (Discussion) section.

In highly effective meetings time spent in the Teaching section is zero. The information is consumed prior to the meeting, when the agenda is delivered. There is no need to have a 1-1 verbal discussion of what can be written down, and linked to. This allows attendees to review the material in a much more efficient time-shifted method. And this frees up almost all of the bandwidth in the meeting to focus on the serious issues, and advisors can ask questions.

The job of the CEO is to state the goals, establish a plan for achieving them, then manage the execution of the plan. Primarily his job is one of communication. Communicate the dream, the opportunity, the mission, the vision, the purpose, etc. The successful CEO will be a great communicator. The most effective communications are in writing, least effective are verbal. Written communications are far more valuable than verbal.

Therefore, the CEO wants to avoid a lot of verbal Teaching in the meetings. It is far more effective for the CEO to be Learning by asking questions. The bulk of any background information needed to answer the CEOs questions during the meeting should be in the form of links that can be accessed prior to the meeting.

Get the best out of your time in this meeting, and the greatest value from your advisors, by stating your discussion items in a question format. 



Your company name/logo 
(link to public website)

CEO name/link

(Meeting Date/time)
(Attendees names)

(Online attendance link)

1. Statement of Purpose of this meeting

         Write in this space.
         What does the CEO want to achieve in this meeting?
                     (learn, action items, plan, decisions, ideas, confidence, help, etc)

2. Status Review - 5 minutes

         A.  CEO's Positive review 

              Write a few paragraphs.
                      CEO summary of last period, positive actions taken, results achieved.
              Advisors give standing ovation.
         B. Status Checklist
              (Cash Runway), (Net Promoter Score)Links to other KPI pages
                              (Energy level),   (Stress Level)

                          Link to CEO's Overall Health Plan
                          Link to business calendar
                          Links for LinkedIn, FB, blogs, Twitter, etc 
                          Link to ToDo list
                          Link to strategic plan
                          Link to priorities 
                          Link to Who-What-When 

              Financial - Links to P/L, Balance Sheet, etc
              Sales and Marketing - Links

              People - (morale measurement), Links to Organization chart/data/Who What When
              Product roadmap - Links
              Customer support - Links
              Legal - Links, cap table, fundraising documents (executive summary, deck, etc)
              Company Library - Links
              Websites - Links
              Strategic Plans - Links (SWOT analysis, Acquisitions, stock plans)
              Business Philosophy - Links to Values, Mission, Vision, 

3. Discussion - 55 minutes

          A.  Important and Urgent Topics in Priority sequence

                  (Cash Flow, Legal, Stockholders, Personnel, Sales, Competition)
                  Links to separate documents where you have written
                  your important and urgent challenges, along with supporting information, research, etc.
                         State the situation as a question: "How do I decide...?", "What's best policy for...?"
          B.  Other Important Topics 
                 More of the same, just not as urgent.
                 (as time permits)

Meeting Notes:

           Action items: 
                  Who does What by When,
                  policy statements,

           Next meeting 
                  Agenda items for next meeting
                  How can we improve these meetings?