Run a meeting like Alfred Sloan (1 min)

Alfred Sloan- “… the most effective business executive I have ever known.”^ – Peter Drucker

Peter Drucker called Alfred Sloan “the most effective business executive I have ever known” citing his meeting and follow-up methodology as significant reasons why. In general, the most effective executives strive to make themselves obsolete in the day to day running of the business, division, department, etc. They know that they can be most effective when they have the time to do more strategic and/or longer term thinking. Below are an agenda and process to help you get closer to that goal.

Weekly Meeting Agenda** (70-105 minutes)

  1. Good News (5 minutes) All participate, share 2 good news stories. One personal and one business. Creates more close knit team.
  2. 90-day/To Do List Review (5-10 minutes) Report everyone’s individual/team 90-day goals and measurements (90-day goals/measurements are pre-determined in annual and quarterly planning meetings) No details or excuses – VERY IMPORTANT (this is where meetings can get bogged down)
  3. Review To Do lists from previous weekly meeting No details or excuses – VERY IMPORTANT (this is where meetings can get bogged down. Anything that is not on track, move to Discuss and Resolve Portion below IMPORTANT – The key to success here is full disclosure – this is where the magic happens. Trust in the team. Help each other.
  4. Customer and Employee Feedback (10 minutes) Each meeting member should check in with at least one employee (Start, Stop, Keep*) and one customer (4Q*) each week. (Use best judgment on how often to speak to each within a reasonable timeframe) Review Only. Discussion saved for Discuss and Resolve below.  Keep running log.) Review customer feedback logs. Look for recurring issues.
  5. Collective Intelligence (15-30 min) Discuss/brainstorm one strategic issue or priority (Pre-determined in Annual and/or Quarterly Planning Meeting) Person with accountability presents the situation analysis. If you have a weekly Strategic Council meeting as Jim Collins advocates, this portion could be skipped.
  6. Discuss and Resolve (30-45 min.) Discuss and Resolve any unfinished items from To Do List (5-10 min.) Pick top 3 items from 90-day review above by level of importance and urgency. Discuss and Resolve one at a time. Stay focused. If you have time, reprioritize the list and pick new top 3. Rinse and Repeat until 30 minutes is reached. If you cannot resolve all, move items to next week unless an item cannot keep.
  7. One Phrase Close (3-5 min) Everyone says a word or phrase that represents how he or she feels about the meeting.

EXTREMELY IMPORTANT – Keep a log of Who said What they would do by When. Share with the team. Use this “To Do list” for next weekly meeting (see above).


  1. Be on the same day each week
  2. Be at the same time each week
  3. Have the same printed agenda format
  4. Start on time
  5. End on time
  6. Make sure everyone has his/her say

* Please contact me and I will send you 4Q and Start, Stop, Keep (and another option or two for each) info to you directly. Thanks for reading.

Be Exceptional!

To learn more about building your own One Page Strategic Plan visit or contact me at

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** Compiled with help from Dave Baney, Verne Harnish and Gino Wickman

^ Drucker, Peter F. (2017-01-24). The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done

Published by Bill Flynn

Gazelles Member Advisor and early stage startup specialist with a proven track record with 16 Boston-based startups (9 to date with 5 successful outcomes, advisor to 7 others); SMB to Fortune 500 companies. 20+ years of Senior Sales, Marketing and GM experience in industries including mobile advertising, security, digital advertising, e-commerce and IT. Core Competencies: Player/Coach, Metrics-driven, Execution-based philosophy, Life-long learner

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