Should You Hold Departmental Quarterly Meetings?
As leadership teams roll out the Entrepreneurial Operating System to the rest of their company, they’re usually excited about getting the entire organization running on EOS. However, as the rollout proceeds, questions begin to crop up.
Many of the big questions I get revolve around Quarterly Meetings, one of the main tools of EOS. These meetings are critical for setting the Rocks that turn your Vision into reality.
In this article, I’ll share the five most common questions I get around these quarterly sessions. I hope this Q&A gives you the answers you need as you roll EOS out to your organization.
Question #1: Should We Start Holding Departmental Quarterly Meetings? If So, When?
When you begin the process of setting your quarterly Rocks with your direct reports—your most important goals in the next 90 days—that’s the time to decide whether Departmental Quarterly Meetings are right for your team.
Some teams decide to set Rocks in their regularly scheduled Level 10 meetings. Others decide on a separate meeting entirely. If you decide to go this route, I’ll give you a sample agenda in the answer to the next question.
Question #2: What Should We Use as an Agenda for a Departmental Quarterly Meeting?
Think of the agenda as an adapted version of your leadership team’s Quarterly Meeting.
Ultimately, though, your department should decide the agenda for the Quarterly Meeting together to make sure you cover your team’s most important topics.
As you decide what to discuss, consider including some of the following items:
- Check-in and communicate overall outcomes
- Review prior quarter Rocks (Of course, the first time through, your department won’t have any Rocks to review!)
- Review company V/TO
- Introduce the EOS tools
- Establish next quarter Rocks
- IDS key issues, unless you’re already doing this in your Level 10 meetings
- Next steps
- Final questions/feedback
Question #3: How Long Should Departmental Quarterly Meetings Be?
To give you a ballpark, they can be anywhere from two to four hours long. Most are two to three hours long. Larger departments tend to have longer sessions, simply because more people are participating.
Whatever length you decide on, make sure to keep to the same EOS guidelines that apply to your Level 10 meetings: Start and end on time.
Question #4: Who Should Participate in Departmental Quarterly Meetings?
Your Accountability Chart clarifies who should participate: the department leader and all their direct reports.
So, for example, if the Operations leader has five direct reports, then all six people should participate in the Departmental Quarterly. However, if any of the five direct reports also have people who report to them, those employees do not need to participate in the Departmental Quarterly.
Question #5: Should Departmental Quarterlies Be Held Before or After the Leadership Team Quarterly Meeting?
Either way is fine. The most common approach I’ve seen is to hold Departmental Quarterlies after the Leadership Team Quarterly. That way, new departmental Rocks will align more closely with the company Rocks established by the leadership team.
Lead Your Departmental Quarterlies with Confidence
I hope the answers to these questions give you the direction—and the confidence—to make the decisions around your Department Quarterlies that move your Vision forward. Finally, as you roll out Departmental Quarterlies, remember that every team moves at a different pace. Do what’s right for your team, not what’s "typical."
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