L10-Tips, Part 1: The Reporting Section
Here’s a great video by Gino Wickman himself in which he thoroughly breaks down the L10™ agenda. I recommend it to all of my clients who are struggling with ineffective L10s.
I’ve been running L10s for almost 10 years now, and I would like to offer you the tips I have learned and the things I do a little differently to run a really effective L10 meeting.
Good News is a segue that takes the Leadership Team from working IN the business to working ON the business. They step out of their role as department managers and into their role as senior managers of the company.
Good News is an ice breaker, and some companies include both personal and business in Good News. But I think Good News works better as just personal good news. It is a great way for team members to get to know each other better. To that end, I often ask a follow up question like, “And how old are your kids again?” or, “Where did you go on your vacation?”
If you think Good News seems not substantive, you are right, but it only takes a few seconds per person. The goal is to loosen people up, and there is no better way to loosen them up than to get them talking about themselves.
The Scorecard is supposed to be five minutes, and that is very easy to do if you just read the numbers and point out red or green. It is true that no discussion is allowed here, but I have found that a quick clarification or follow up question will make this section much more powerful.
For example, if a metric turns red, I will often ask, “What happened?,” “What caused this?,” or, “Is any action being taken to correct that?” I am looking for a very brief answer here, something to enlighten the team and quickly help them understand what happened. No answer or a tentative response tells me that this is an Issue, so we drop it down to the Issues List.
In the case of an improvement in a metric, I will usually ask, “How did you turn this metric green?” This is a great chance to recognize someone in front of their peers for a job well done.
Whatever you do, do not let your follow up question become a discussion! That can happen very easily, so do not be afraid to cut the Team off if they go on for more than a minute, and then drop this metric to the Issues List.
Again, this is supposed to be five minutes, and it does not take that long to say on-track or off-track.
If a Rock is off-track, I usually have them say a little more by asking, “What happened? Is this something temporary?” We only have five to seven Rocks, and our Rocks are critical to our making progress during the quarter, so I always allow them a little bit of leeway to expand on their answer.
Also, a brief update might be preferable to making this an actual Issue to select and discuss, especially if it just calls for an update and does not require a solve.
Finally, when a Rock slips off track, I always ask, “Do you need help from the Team?” If so, make it an Issue.
Again, do not be afraid to cut the Team off to avoid letting your follow up questions expand into a discussion!
I like to use headlines for more than just news about employees and also include updates on vendors who have been doing particularly well or poorly for us, new customers, customers who are getting behind in their payments, etc. Just be sure to keep they keep this to five minutes, too.
One of my clients was in social services, and they used this section to give updates on the progress being made by their clients. It was always the most satisfying part of the meeting.
Remember that 90% of To Dos should be completed every week. If someone says “Not done,” they get a funny look from me. If they say “Not done” the following week, I have them give the group an explanation why their To Do did not get done for two straight weeks.
The To Do list uses peer pressure to drive accountability. Additionally, on the agenda I put a number after each To Do representing the number of weeks that that To Do has gone undone so everyone knows who is not getting their To Dos done. If your team is not consistently completing 90% of their To Dos each week, you may have an accountability problem to add to the Issues List.
Again, it does not take five minutes to simply say “done” or “not done.” A quick comment is perfectly fine, something like, “Done. I checked out that software, and it will work for us.” But no discussion allowed! Drop it to the Issues list if necessary.
The most common problem I see with To Dos is that when someone says, “Done,” they often want to immediately dive into the Issue that their To Do relates to. Tell them to wait until we get to the Issues List.
At this point, with the Reporting section complete, your team should be completely up to date on what happened last week, on company news and team accountability, and on the status of quarterly Rocks. Now they are ready to solve Issues in the IDS section of the L10 meeting!
Want to read Part 2: The IDS Section?
If your L10 meetings need help, reach out to me. I have been a fractional Integrator for five years and have run hundreds of L10s for my clients in a variety of industries. I have helped my clients reach their goals, starting with holding more effective L10 meetings. I can be your L10 Ninja! You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-247-1993 or my LinkedIn page.
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