Effective Senior Leadership Team (SLT) meetings are essential for aligning strategies, fostering collaboration, and driving organizational success. In a recent discussion, Miranda sought insights into successful SLT meeting formats, considering factors such as company size, number of SLT members, and meeting structure. Professionals shared their experiences and recommendations, offering valuable insights for optimizing SLT meetings. This blog post explores these insights and strategies to help organizations enhance their SLT meeting effectiveness.
The Diversity of SLT Meetings
Miranda's query about SLT meetings highlighted the diversity of approaches within organizations. Different company sizes, leadership structures, and leadership styles can influence meeting formats. Here are some key insights shared in the discussion:
- Level 10 Meeting Format: Allie Yeakey shared her company's use of the Level 10 Meeting format from EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System), featuring a SLT of 9 members. This structured format includes separate brainstorming sessions to address challenges and opportunities.
- Defining SLT: Sandy raised the question of what constitutes the Senior Leadership Team and how it differs from the Executive Team. She emphasized that company size and leadership style significantly impact meeting structures.
- Inclusive SLT: Miranda Russell explained that their SLT includes department heads and managers, with a total of 3 executive team members. They acknowledged the challenges of accommodating everyone for department updates.
Balancing Meeting Formats
The discussion also delved into considerations for balancing SLT meetings with alternative communication methods:
- Alternative Communication: Sandy suggested considering alternative communication methods like email or Slack channels for updates, particularly in situations with larger SLTs. She highlighted a preference for a memo-writing culture and shared insights on Jeff Bezos' memo system at Amazon.
- In-Person Meetings: Miranda expressed a preference for in-person meetings to foster company culture and build relationships. While acknowledging the complexity of accommodating diverse needs, she emphasized the value of face-to-face interactions.
- Structured Documentation: Pamela Forster shared her company's approach, featuring a SLT of C-level and VP-level members. They use a shared Google doc for weekly updates and agenda creation, ensuring everyone is aware of ongoing progress. Additionally, they incorporate a deliverables tracking table for reference.
Effective SLT meetings are essential for aligning leadership, sharing updates, and driving organizational success. As demonstrated in the discussion, the right meeting format can vary based on factors such as company size and leadership style. While structured meetings like Level 10 can be effective, organizations must consider their unique needs and communication preferences. Whether through in-person interactions, alternative communication methods, or structured documentation, optimizing SLT meetings is essential for maintaining alignment and fostering collaboration within the senior leadership team.