14 Sep 2016

There are 5 fundamental categories of business meetings, if you distil all of them down to their essence, they are:

  1. The recruitment meeting
  2. The appraisal and/or development meeting
  3. The business progress meeting
  4. The reprimand meeting
  5. The dismissal meeting

These categories contain several types of meetings.

For example, the business progress meeting is often defined by the function holding it: sales, production, logistics etc. This is characterised by its agenda, typically: performance review, target setting, organisational change etc.

The first three types of business meetings in the above list could be thought of as ‘organic’ in nature, in that the path they follow is mostly determined by the unfolding results, the prevailing external and internal forces, and goal setting based on predicted circumstances.

All of these factors could change from month to month and so the discussions change with them and are thought to be organic in consequence.

The fourth and fifth type of business meetings – The Reprimand and the Dismissal meetings – do not follow the pattern that organic meetings follow.

They are mostly a response to clearly understood circumstances, rooted in the past, backed by evidence and have clearly defined generic outcomes.

In this respect they are ‘technical meetings’ that follow a pre-determined path, for example, imagine this:

You are the Manager of a computer software company and last night, at home, you received a telephone call from the Managing Director of your major client (someone with whom you have built up a sound personal relationship over the years you have been doing business together).  He/She rang to complain about the attitude of one of your top technicians who had just completed a two-week project at their company.  The client MD said that although the technician was a specialist, he/she had upset several employees by being condescending and coming across as a rude, arrogant know-it-all.  The client MD said that if this attitude were encountered again, it would jeopardise future business, even though this time the job was completed.

As you can see, this situation jeopardises future business and is inconsistent with the values of customer engagement.

What would you do?

  • The evidence is clear – the client will not tolerate this rude behaviour
  • The result is – future business is in jeopardy
  • Outcome required – future business secured at all times by all encounters with the client

The technical approach is straight forward:

  1. Establish or re-establish agreement to the principle that future business should be secured at all times, by all encounters with the client
  1. Present the facts as understood: future business with this client is in jeopardy
  1. Ask the employee to make their proposal: “What do you propose we do to fix this in both the long and short term?”

The dismissal is the same format as both are technical meetings.

For more on this, consider enrolling on our Governing Change programme which begins in London on 3rd November.