We recently implemented “No Meeting Wednesday” here at BOOST after piloting the program with our leadership. First note: we HIGHLY recommend it.
Here are some thoughts/considerations on the experience.
What was the Driving Force?
I don’t know about you, but we are spending ENDLESS hours on Zoom or Teams going from meeting to meeting to meeting, call to call. Now that we are all WFH, we are quick to get on calls. Our schedules are no longer booked weeks in advance. Every Monday, I personally start the week thinking its going to be a light week meeting wise. Then by Tuesday midday, the entire week was booked. This left no time to actually DO any work. Or Think. Or shake off our strategic plan for the year (uh, 2020…planning is now month to month). I felt like all we did was spend time on meetings and that nothing felt like it was getting accomplished. Our directors felt the same way. 2020 has turned into endless day after day of the same thing.
Our Pilot Program
After reading about No Meeting Wednesday being successful in a few large companies, I asked our Directors to try it for about 5-6 weeks. Immediate feedback ranged from “Heck Ya, this is what I need” to “Well, what about X meeting or Y meeting and my schedule is already booked on Wednesdays”. The skeptics took a few weeks to get on board, but by the end of our pilot, we all had done a decent job of blocking our calendars for Wednesdays. We had 100% agreement that it worked and was something we wanted to implement throughout the entire business.
While it’s still new to the entire organization (we just started in earnest this July), so far the feedback has been positive. We try to post a reminder each Wed morning on our Teams page just to reinforce the message. We have also blocked our schedules on our Outlook/Shared calendars.
Our New Reality
We still have calls on Wednesdays. We still have meetings. But they are meetings and calls that we individually choose to have on Wednesday. Internally, we know that it better be important if you are going to interrupt our flow. I personally go heads down on projects such as the corporate budget, the marketing plan, planning sessions, and even brainstorming sessions. It has become the most valued day of the week as we can each focus on what we think our highest priorities are. I’ve pushed myself to not just work on tactical stuff (that can wait for another day) but really focus on the thinking. To have a higher-level perspective. To see the forest for the trees.
While this is still very much a new thing for us, I think our company will see major benefits in many areas – productivity, creativity and FOCUS. If only for one day a week.
Our challenge to you is as follows:
- Choose one day per week (the SAME day each week) over the next 6-8 weeks that you consider business-sacred and demo it with your core group.
- Set Clear Expectations in advance. No full group meetings, no non-essential client calls.
• Reevaluate which meetings could, really, be emails and which ones need to be taken virtual face-to-virtual face.
- Set a productivity goal to measure success.
- Direct your leadership (and yourself) to go all-in on the experiment
One step further is that we want to hear from you regarding your thoughts at the end of the quarter. What worked for you? What did you change? How did it change your business? But remember, don’t call us about it on a Wednesday.