When Managers Meet

“Developing the team, and looking after the team members, is important but who looks after the informal management team?”

The value of a well organised and well run meeting is such that it can contribute just as much to a business in terms of its process as is it can by its product – the outcome of the meeting. A good example of this is in how businesses harness the power of the team.

Most organisations identify the importance of team work as a way of getting the best from their staff. What can be easily forgotten is the fact that a group of people working in the same place or on the same project doesn’t necessarily make a team. Those in a leadership role must work hard to turn key groups of people into teams and it is by these effective interventions that the team will develop.

Most people at work are part of more than one team and one of these will be the informal management team which we can refer to as ‘Team Manager’. This is the team of managers, usually of roughly the same level within the business, who day-by-day strive within their own project, department, branch or depot to manage and lead their team. They spend a lot of time with their team members in their own area and will feel a strong bond with that team, but because of this it can be difficult to feel part of ‘Team Manager’ too.

Senior managers must recognise the value and importance of these less obvious, or easy to co-ordinate teams, within their business and a meeting can be a great way of empowering them. Set up a meeting of branch, team and/or department managers across the business once every three months. For each meeting a different manager should act as chair (a great opportunity to give these managers training in managing meetings prior to this being set in motion) and must set an objectives agenda based on items that have been identified by the managers themselves.

No member of senior management should attend the meeting, but there will always be at least one item on the meeting’s agenda that has been set by senior management. This should be an issue of strategic or operational importance to the business and will give these ‘middle managers’ an opportunity to make a valuable contribution in an area from which they are often excluded. Formal minutes should be taken and distributed to senior managers, the meeting attendees and other interested staff members.

Holding these meetings will harness the contribution of a huge collective resource (probably the best there is in any organisation) for the business and will be of huge benefit to the development of the managers themselves. Such is the power of the meeting to move things forward!

“Stay tuned for the next instalment.”