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Let’s face it, we’re all fed up of sitting through online meetings. They’re unnaturally energy-consuming, they’re tough on the eyes and more often than not, they seem to be the opposite of productive.
So, what if we could have twice the impact in half the time?
It’s possible, if you follow the key principles of a Turbo Meeting.
First up, not every meeting should be a Turbo Meeting (that would be exhausting). Aim to hold a Turbo Meeting when:
Don’t hold a Turbo Meeting when:
It’s a ruthlessly efficient meeting with key decision-makers to progress a specific aim. No fuss, no pleasantries, just productivity.
Depending on how many people are joining the meeting and what you’re trying to achieve, your Turbo Meeting could last an ambitious 5 minutes, up to a maximum of 30 minutes.
If you're going to start using the Turbo Meeting format, introduce the concept to your team/audience beforehand. They might get a shock if you suddenly switch to a new format without warning and you won't get the buy-in you need to make the meeting run efficiently.
To make any Turbo Meeting function, you need to get everyone ready ahead of time. Explicitly state the benefit to required attendees (what’s in it for them) and if necessary, differentiate between those who are being invited because you need their input and a decision, or because it’s important for them to observe/listen.
Here’s an email or calendar invite template you can use:
Hello, this is a Turbo Meeting.
In the interest of everyone’s time and sanity, we’re going to spend just <15 minutes> to achieve / take a decision on <which new logo we’re picking>.
We’ll follow the principles of Turbo Meetings, meaning that we’re focusing on ruthless efficiency to achieve our aim. Then you can get on with your day :-)
I’ll be chairing, which means I’m CEO (Chief Efficiency Officer) for this meeting. So that this works, I need you to do the following please:
- Prepare ahead of time by <looking at the different logo options in the attachment and forming a considered opinion>
- Send any critical input that might affect our outcome <30-minutes / 2 days> before the meetings
- Arrive 2 minutes before the start time so that we can begin on time
- Say nothing unless you’re contributing to the meeting’s stated aims
- Where you do have something to contribute, please be clear and succinct - think of yourself as a triple distilled vodka shot
- If you agree with someone else’s point, don’t repeat it in our precious airspace, but do let us know by writing it on the chat
- Remember that we do care about your cat, your exciting discovery on Netflix and the weather in your patch of the world… just not on our Turbo Meeting ;-)
The structure of the meeting will be:
Your job as the Chair, or Chief Efficiency Officer, is critical in making a Turbo Meeting work.
Your role is to:
1. Prepare ahead of time so it’s clear what steps are needed to get to an outcome
2. Be clear about the aims in advance and state what’s outside the control of the meeting attendees (external dependencies)
3. Start the meeting on time
4. Ruthlessly drive the agenda towards the stated outcome
5. Make sure all participants are succinct and add value
6. Make sure the outcome is achieved
7. Drive your ruthlessly efficient meeting with a smile - knowing that we’re not focusing on small talk and relationship building this time, but that everyone will benefit from the time-saving
8. Finish on time
Of course, it’s one thing reading a blog article about Turbo Meetings and it’s quite another to run them successfully. This takes practice and leadership from the meeting’s Chief Efficiency Officer. That’s why we’ve developed a virtual team training specifically designed to develop your turbo meeting skills. Let us know if you’d like to hear more about it.
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