Frank’s Forum

How to Maximize Effectiveness of an Executive Meeting

President/CEO of General Insulation Company (GIC), Frank Granara, attributes the success of the company to his driven employees and effective meeting structure. His strategic forward thinking executive team has contributed to the steadily upward growth of the company. After years, GIC remains strong under his leadership unlike many of the industry competitors who are facing company buyouts and changes to their company infrastructure.

Executives and Vice Presidents have limited time. To maximize the effectiveness and teamwork of executive meetings, pre-planning is critical.

Granara prepares for quarterly meetings with all his Vice Presidents by doing the following:

1. Weekly phone calls with executives:

Scheduling weekly phone calls with the Vice Presidents allows them to regularly communicate prior to their quarterly

Effective meetings conference calls

Conference calls create a great work flow for communication among peers.

meetings. This helps the executives resolve routine and problematic issues so that the executive meeting can focus solely on bigger picture and more pressing agenda topics with their limited group meeting time.
At GIC: Granara only joins bi-monthly executive calls. In this way his executives become more self-reliant and less dependent on him. This tactic has proven successful as demonstrated in their improved performance both prior to and during the meetings.

2. Face-to-Face communication is key

As the workplace shifts to a reliance on technology, face-to-face communication is decreasing. At GIC, however, Granara takes a different tact. He feels it is extremely important to emphasize horizontal and vertical, face-to-face communication across teams. In-person contact allows for clarifying information and solving problems in an efficient manner. It also provides a vehicle for building work relationships and boosting the sense of connection amongst company culture. Successful business models should also reflect this face-to-face contact with internal and external customers.
At GIC: Granara provides his executives with a half day of in-person meeting time before each quarterly executive meeting.

3. The importance of asking questions you already know the answer to.

Meetings bring forth questions that can seemingly produce confusion, however, from the meeting leader perspective, this can be be a benefit. Asking tough questions gives you the ability to evaluate the knowledge of your team and their preparation for the meeting. It motivates the team to think critically not only during, but after the meeting as well. “As the meeting leader, don’t ask your employees a question you don’t already know the answer to”, Granara says. Asking a question you already know the answer to means that you are looking for a specific answer. This helps align your team’s thinking with your business strategy as well as keeps the answers and your perspective top of mind while they interact with coworkers and complete tasks. If someone on your team doesn’t know the answer, encourage him or her to say “I don’t know.” This will produce a learning environment for you and your team to better understand what needs to be covered in more depth as well as evaluating your team’s thought process on reaching your specified answer.

Effective meetings questions

Asking questions provides insight into how your team is thinking.

At GIC: Granara has found success with this tactic because he is well informed and prepared on agenda topics before each meeting.

Putting it all together:

Preparing for an executive meeting requires attention to detail,and an open flow of communication. By sharing resources prior to the meeting, it allows everyone to identify the issues beforehand so that you and your team can spend time solving them in a face-to-face environment.

For more tips on how Frank thinks, check out his newly published book, Beyond the Executive Comfort Zone.This book chronicles how Frank Granara, CEO of General Insulation Company, and nationally known leadership Consultant, Lorraine Grubbs, achieved unparalleled results to create a profound and lasting change in Frank’s leadership team. To read just how they did it you can purchase the book on Amazon.

Next post: “Beyond the Executive: The Mick Clinger Experience ”.  Until then, check out our website for more articles like Lorraine’s and information on how to purchase this book.
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