Last quarter, I wrote an essay about our new process for running debriefs across the agency each quarter (read it here).
At a high level, each team meets to discuss notable accomplishments, lessons learned, and feedback (for teammates, leadership, and manager). From there, each Team Leads synthesizes the notes into the following:
With Q3 coming to a close, each team went through this process in late September. On Tuesday, the Barrel leadership team met to review key takeaways and focus areas for Q4.
Taking into account the feedback from last quarter's session, we made a few changes to the format this time around:
Overall, it was a productive session in that we made time to pause, zoom out from the day-to-day and reflect as a group. The challenge, though, was not having enough time to dig into the themes and align on focus areas for the next quarter. The group shared the same sentiment, rating the meeting with 7s and 8s across the board. In the future, I think the space to align will be the most valuable use of our time together.
I'm inspired by Amazon's culture of writing memos to frame and run meetings. In theory, it seems like an effective way to save time and promote thinking.
"The reason writing a good 4 page memo is harder than “writing” a 20 page powerpoint is because the narrative structure of a good memo forces better thought and better understanding of what’s more important than what, and how things are related. Powerpoint-style presentations somehow give permission to gloss over ideas, flatten out any sense of relative importance, and ignore the interconnectedness of ideas." (Colin Bryar and Bill Carr, Working Backwards)
Rather than extend our quarterly session meeting time, I like the idea of introducing writing and reading. An updated process might look this: