There are many different kinds of meetings a business needs to understand and have. One of these is called a WAR meeting. It is very important for any company’s leadership team to know how to host one of these effectively. This blog will help you understand how.
First, What is a WAR Meeting
A company’s leadership team needs a weekly meeting structure to update each other and stay on the same page. WAR stands for “Weekly Action Review,” and is a weekly ninety-minute meeting that each department holds for their entire team.
The format of this kind of meeting is based on a process called “Forum Meetings” used by Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) and Young Presidents Organization (YPO).
How Does it Work?
For the first thirty minutes of a WAR meeting each person gives a quick three to five-minute update that answers these questions:
- What went well last week?
- What didn’t go well last week?
- Where am I stuck?
- What are your top three things to work on this week?
Having each person follow this system keeps each team aligned with what they’re working on.
The second thirty minutes of a WAR meeting is when the team reviews the metrics on the dashboard for that business area, looking for areas of concern as well as bright spots. By reviewing the key numbers for their business area every week, people start holding each other accountable and realize that their key metrics roll up to the leadership team. Because of this, they know they must figure out the answers before they are asked.
During the final thirty minutes, the group tries to evaluate some of the areas that team members were stuck on earlier. The group then works together to share experiences and ideas to help out their teammates. The simple process of sharing is actually really impactful in building a team.
Tips on Meetings
In general, there are some useful tips that can make any kind of meeting, like a WAR meeting, more productive. Some of those things are:
- Holding face-to-face meetings as often as you can.
- Start off your meeting with a clear agenda.
- If you’re running a meeting, arrive early.
- Make sure everyone knows their role in a meeting.
- Book your meetings for shorter periods of time.
“Work expands so as to fill the space that we give it.” If you don’t overestimate the time you need for a meeting, you will find your meetings becoming more efficient and you’ll absorb more time that you need for other tasks.” – Forbes
Dedicate your WAR meeting to ninety minutes. Even if it seems like you have a lot to cover, don’t dedicate more time than that. The tighter the time, the more motivated everyone is to be productive.
Just like many different kinds of meetings, WAR meetings are important to have and important to do right! Make sure you and everyone attending is clear on how they work and what needs to get done.
If you have questions or would like more information, I’d be happy to help. Please send an email, and my team will get in touch with you!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2011 and has been edited for accuracy and comprehensiveness.