Does the Same Page Meeting™ Need an Agenda?

In any organization that runs on EOS®, optimizing the relationship of the Visionary and Integrator™ is essential for making the company’s “dynamic duo” work well as a team and as individual contributors. The Same Page Meeting™ is key component of the V/I engine.

Many of my clients ask me is if their Same Page Meetings should follow an agenda. The answer probably won’t surprise you: of course they should!

One of my favorite business writers, Patrick Lencioni, wrote that “The majority of meetings should be discussions that lead to decisions.” Just like your Level 10 Meetings™, Same Page Meetings benefit from a clear structure that includes making a clear plan for acting on what has been discussed.

How often should you hold your Same Page Meetings?

Gino Wickman recommends holding Same Page Meetings once a month for two hours. Some teams prefer to hold more frequent, shorter meetings. The needs of the Visionary and Integrator dictate what the right cadence is.

Some of that comes from within: meet as often as necessary for the team to stay in sync. Sometimes this comes down to personality. One new Visionary-Integrator team I work with meets once a week for an hour, with impromptu shorter calls sprinkled in, sometimes every day. Their Visionary says that the high frequency of meetings is helping him to let go of the vine. He told me, “Knowing we’re on the same page with everything is giving me confidence to move forward.”

A more frequent cadence can also be necessary to meet the needs of the business. When a company is facing numerous challenges or growing rapidly, staying on the same page can be difficult without regular check-ins. In my experience, smaller companies that are still establishing themselves often are good candidates for weekly Same Page Meetings.

What should a Same Page Meeting agenda look like?

Giving your Same Page Meetings structure will help to keep them focused and productive. At a minimum, the Visionary and Integrator each should come to the meeting with a list of the issues they want to discuss. Take each issue in turn, following the IDS™ structure—identify, discuss, solve. The goal should be to have a clear plan for how to solve each issue by the end of the meeting.

Every V/I duo is different. Some can do well just bringing their issues lists together. Most need something more. These are some other elements that my clients like to make part of their Same Page Meetings:

  • The segue. Just like a Level 10 Meeting, a Same Page Meeting should start with some social time. Checking in on each other’s personal and business achievements is a good way to start a meeting. Don’t discount putting the segue on the formal agenda: it may feel like small talk, but it’s doing important work building the foundation of synchronization.
  • List the issues. Ideally, both partners should come to the meeting with a separate list of the issues on their mind. Many Visionary-Integrator pairs I know struggle with this simple step. The temptation is to immediately tackle each issue in turn. One of my Integrators calls it “chasing the turd” to underline how important it is to not get distracted.
  • Prioritize. The biggest issue probably also needs the most time. Rank your issues from simplest to most complex. The easy ones you might be able to knock out in a few minutes. Others might take much longer—a few may need to be made into Rocks.
  • IDS. Now that you’ve got your list, it’s time to tackle each of the issues in turn. The Identify step in IDS is easy to forget. I like to start conversations about the more difficult issues facing a business by investing time in fully understanding what the issue really is. Both partners should interrogate the question: Is it the right one to be asking? Can it be broken down into smaller problems with distinct sources? Is the issue framed in a way that can be solved?
  • Record your action items. The Integrator typically serves as the Same Page Meeting’s secretary. Write down each of the issues and the solutions that the team has agreed to pursue. Some issues need to be discussed with the wider team. If possible, schedule those conversations before the meeting ends.

By following this framework, Same Page Meetings get more done in less time. Try it!

Work with a Certified EOS Implementer® to get on the same page

How are you running your Same Page Meetings? I’d love to hear your stories. Visit me on LinkedIn or Facebook, send me an email, or give me a call at (818) 649-1103. Let’s see how far we can take your dynamic duo!