Planning to Plan – The ‘Reverse-Flow’ meetings. Part I
While our IBS (Issues, Barriers, Strategies) process identifies and prioritizes, the truth is, deciding to do something without accountability and consistent monitoring is useless.
Three frogs sitting on a lily pad. One decides to jump off. How many are left on the lily pad. Lots of different answers however, in this example the answer is three. Deciding to do something does not ensure that you will get it done.
The implementation factor is critical, and this is what makes our system work. At least once a month the team has a meeting. The Team can be a collection of employees from different departments (The Employee In-Put Team) or from a specific group (Install, Service, Office, Sales, Management). We call these meetings ‘Reverse-Flow Meetings’ because in many businesses’ communication flows downhill and the purpose of these meetings is to reverse the flow of ideas back up to the top.
These Facilitated Monitor/Review Meetings focus on identifying and prioritizing Issues. Working with Barriers and Strategies is done with groups between meetings. (tweeners). The key to the success of these meetings is that a person will volunteer to “Own” a Task Card. This makes him the captain of the team of people who will identify barriers and determine a strategy which they will recommend to the decision maker.
The ‘Owner’ will report at subsequent meetings the ‘status’ of the card. Each meeting begins with the facilitator asking each owner, “What is the current status of your card? The ‘Card Owner’ will respond by indicating what his/her team has accomplished since the last Monitor/Review Meeting. If they have decided upon a strategy and offered the three-part form to the decision maker, they will review that strategy with the group.
Next week “Three Frog Part II” The Accountability system.