Natalie Dawson How To Construct a Quarterly Team Agenda

How to Construct a Quarterly Team Agenda

June 11, 2021

Your quarterly team meetings are some of the most important meetings your organization can have. In order to make the most of this time, you need the right agenda.

The quarterly team meeting. It’s something that I’ve participated in for the entirety of my career. Brandon and I have made these a fixture of the businesses we’ve been a part of for as long as I can remember. 

It’s all based on a very simple philosophy: You need your entire organization to be on the same page — moving in lock-step from their respective corners — as the business grows. When the business grows without this cross-departmental understanding, without the focus on seeing how our strategies and tactics and actions are interrelated, you run the risk of growing and falling apart. 

No quarterly team meeting? You’re creating a vacuum in your organization where things will run amok. But an organization with intentionally-led quarterly meetings? You have a place where, four times a year, you can communicate new, organization-wide changes and help your team feel confident in the direction of the company while also giving them something actionable that they can soon implement into their daily work. 

The one caveat to this being “actionable”: what you’re communicating better be fully baked. This is not the place to fill the agenda with nonsense. This is about real, tangible movement in the organization. If you’re not communicating clearly, then your people, for better or worse, will fill in the blanks. Don’t make that mistake. 

You want to be taken seriously. And being taken seriously means having a seriously thought out plan. When it comes to your quarterly meetings, that means having a seriously thought out agenda. 

At Cardone Ventures, we have a philosophy here that the integration points of any business center on its cultural, operational, and financial elements, and so our deck flows in that exact way in order to reflect that. This helps our team understand how their work is impacting the business and how interrelated their work is, despite them not working together on the same teams. 

Cultural

Welcome; Mission, Vision, and Values; Company Culture; and Personal, Professional, and Financial Goals

The beginning of this meeting is very similar to our daily meetings in the sense that we’re trying to create a feeling. We’re welcoming people to work and we’re reminding them that we’re all a part of something bigger than ourselves. 

Unlike the daily meeting which focuses on the “right here, right now,” the quarterly meeting is centered around the “where we’ve been, where we’re going, and how we’re getting there.” 

This is the perfect opportunity to reiterate the mission, vision, and values of the organization. (Like I’ve said before, if you don’t have a mission, vision, or values, then your organization desperately needs them and we have resources to help you establish and use them).

We’re using this as a means of restating the mission and vision and reminding everyone that each and every one of our decisions is done in respect of our core values. 

After revving everyone up, we’ll cover some company culture topics. At Cardone Ventures, we have things like book clubs, exercise challenges, and other ways in which our teams get closer, support each other, and grow together. The quarterly meeting is the perfect place to showcase that spirit. 

The last element of the cultural portion of our meeting is one of the most important. Supporting the achievement of personal, professional, and financial goals is central to our mission at Cardone Ventures, so we highlight that in practice by featuring team members who have achieved their goals. It gives them the public praise they deserve, shows our commitment to the company mission, and can be used as inspiration for others to achieve their goals. 

I highly recommend incorporating something like this into your company culture. 

Operational

Discipline, Accountability, Transparency, and Alignment

In the operational portion of the meeting, this is our time to discuss performance and realign the entire organization in the pursuit of our goals.

One way we do this is by delivering departmental updates. Each department head or key teammate takes a slide to discuss performance, communicate the tactics they used to meet or exceed their quarterly KPIs, or in the instance that the team is falling short of their goal, speak to the commitments that are being made in order to get things back on track. 

This is also a place for leadership to communicate the next quarter’s priorities, as well as introduce any new initiatives that will be soon released and supported by the team. 

As I said earlier, this is where you need to be extra careful. New initiatives are not about filling space. Only introduce new initiatives to the company if there’s an airtight strategy in place. You do not want to put yourself or anyone else in your leadership team in a space where they’re perceived as all talk and no action. 

Financial

Results

The financial update is about as simple as it sounds. Your team needs to understand the financial health of the company. You AND them are responsible for it.

What is the budget to actual of each month in the quarter? Is the business healthy? If it’s not, again, what is the strategy for stabilizing and fostering growth? If the business is healthy, how are we using that momentum to create even more growth? 

After completing this section, go straight into a Q&A.

Q&A and Closing 

Learn How to Force Engagement

I know, force sounds a little strong, but I’ve been in this situation in previous years and I’d be lying if I said this portion can’t be a little miserable if you don’t force engagement. 

Now, when I open the floor up for Q&A, I am not saying,  “Does anyone have any questions?” Nope, what I’m saying now is, “What questions do you have?” because I know people have questions. They’re just afraid to speak. 

If somebody doesn’t immediately ask me a question, I simply say to the group that we are not getting off of this call until there have been at least five great questions asked. And you know what? People start asking questions. It forces engagement. And we’re all better off for it.

You don’t need to draw this portion out. Give it about 10 to 15 minutes, and then conclude the meeting. 

So that’s pretty much it. That’s how Cardone Ventures conducts its quarterly meetings, and I’d urge you to follow a similar template. Just commit to these meetings. They don’t have to be perfect. But you do need to be clear. You need to show your team that you’re a serious leader and that you’re committed to their growth, because that’s what will help foster their commitment to the company’s growth. From then on, if you stick with it, they’ll only get better. 

Want to learn more about creating a great culture? Then you need to join us for the People’s Essentials workshop this June 28th and 29th. 

It’s fully virtual and it’s absolutely essential. 

Visit cardoneventures.com/people to register!

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