Here’s how to structure your startup’s team meetings


As a new founder with a fast-growing startup, the ability to effectively manage a growing team is crucial in order to ensure all hands are on deck and working in the right direction.

And a big part of this is having effective team meetings.

A Harvard Business Review piece by 3Coze Inc. founder Liane Davey outlines some practical steps leaders can apply to get the most out of their various business meetings.

“A one-size-fits-all team meeting rarely works,” Davey writes.

As startups become more structured and the team is expanded, it’s important to have internal cohesion and collaboration in order to identify new opportunities to scale and grow.

“Business builder meetings” can be useful for identifying these opportunities for growth and maximizing the team’s potential to take these on.

During these meetings, Davey recommends setting up an agenda with key topics like new identified opportunities for growth or product, the team’s capabilities to tackle these or barriers to execution.

Assign team members to sponsor agenda topics

Davey suggests calling on one team member to sponsor each agenda item.

Agenda sponsors are responsible for ensuring other members are well informed and prepared to contribute to the discussion of their assigned topic.

“Make the sponsor accountable for the quality of the discussion,” she says.

Sponsors will need to prepare relevant facts and information for other members to review ahead of the meeting so when they all come together they can have a healthy and well-informed discussion on the topic.

Kickoff with a roundtable discussion

Starting the discussion with a roundtable rundown of each agenda topic helps quickly highlight what the key mid to long-term priorities, opportunities and concerns are.

After this, the team can look at ongoing projects if there are issues that need discussion such as corrections to the current strategy or ideas to kick-start areas where progress has slowed.

Then, focus on “enabling functions” such as the need for new talent.

Each of these areas should be led by the specific topic sponsor.

Finally, the discussion can be opened up to broader ways to enhance efficiency and effectiveness.

“This section is the guts of the business builder meeting as the team brings its full value on how to make the organisation stronger,” Daveys says.

Then wrap it all up with an overview of steps moving forward.

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Dinushi Dias is a journalist at StartupSmart and multimedia content producer. When she’s out of the office, she works on social projects with her We Love It Productions family and buddying filmmakers.