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Fewer meetings, more briefings


The world of work has never felt quite so volatile and uncertain. Whilst this poses a real threat to some organisations, it also presents a great opportunity for the teams that are able to pull together and work as a highly-effective machine.

All too predictably, the first thing that average teams do when they come under intense pressure is ditch the team meetings and briefings. Whilst this is a common stress response, it is totally counter-productive.

When I was serving in the British Army as an Operations Officer in Iraq we had our fair share of volatile, uncertain and pressured situations. Operating in a VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity) world wasn’t a new management term, it was the environment we’d trained relentlessly to operate in.

The VUCA environment was the norm for our entire six-month deployment.

One of the routines that I never allowed to falter, no matter how pressured the situation, was the three briefings every day.

I knew that these were critical in delivering every one of the missions assigned to us and bringing all 180 of our soldiers home safely. If information is the king, timely information is the Ace.

Average teams say they don’t have time for regular briefings.

Great teams know that regular, short, sharp briefings are a critical success factor.

They don’t just maintain their standard meeting schedule when under pressure. They actively increase it.

This ensures that everyone has the most up-to-date, mission-critical information. It means people are totally clear on the priorities and are ready, willing and able to support their colleagues, as and when required.

Team meetings and briefings are one of the mission-critical basics for any team, but how effective are yours?

Are you confident that everyone in your teams has the most up-to-date information?

Can you be sure that everybody is working to the same goals and priorities?

If your answer isn’t 100% yes, then it’s time to act.

Ben Morton

Ben Morton is a leadership mentor and performance coach with a unique background.

As a former Captain in the British Army, he has led people in life or death situations.

Ben’s experience has taught him that leadership is both a great privilege and a great responsibility. Fundamentally, he believes that leadership is less about the tools and models and more about understanding what it truly means to be a leader.

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