What Is a Level 10 Meeting?
By Richard Parkin
If you’ve attended a mastermind, or listened to any entrepreneur talk about their operations, you’ll almost certainly have heard about Level 10 Meetings. However, the reality behind these meetings isn’t alway immediately obvious.
For some, the phrase ‘meeting’ can be a problem in and of itself. It shouldn’t be a surprise that many people consider most meetings to be a waste of their time, and Level 10 Meetings sound like just another thing to add to the calendar.
Level 10 Meetings aren’t a buzzword – they’re a vital tool for effective operations. In short, a Level 10 (L10s for short) are all about building effective, company-wide communication.
This blog is all about explaining L10s, showing what they can do for your business, explaining why we almost always recommend them for clients, and helping you avoid some of the potential pitfalls.
Understanding Level 10 Meetings
Originally designed as part of the Entrepreneur Operating System (EOS), Level 10 Meetings were made to solve some of the most common frustrations with standard meeting formats. Rather than being sprawling, irregular and disordered events, L10s take place at set intervals, last for a set amount of time, and have a strictly-followed agenda.
Collecting all key employees, L10s aim to quickly take everyone through all the critical news, development and accomplishments for the business. They ensure that everyone is on track, give everyone an opportunity to discuss tasks that require discussion and collaboration, while assigning responsibility for critical tasks to be accomplished by the next L10.
L10s are designed to accommodate for a company’s specific requirements, so the details will change between businesses, but a typical L10 lasts 90 minutes, with the following schedule:
- Personal & Professional Good News:
- Asks every meeting attendee to tell everyone about something good that’s recently happened to them, along with some work accomplishment they’re proud of.
- Scorecard Review:
- Quickly reviews KPIs for all meeting attendees – these should be set and tracked individually.
- Rock Review:
- Checks progress towards all individual quarterly goals (rocks) – is everything still on track?
- Department/ Client Headlines:
- Reports on major changes and updates for all departments or clients – what does everyone need to be aware of?
- Checks through all individual to-do tasks set in the previous L10 meeting: has everyone accomplished everything on their list?
- Issues List:
- Across the L10, certain points will come up that need more than brief discussion. These are added to the issues list for in-depth, company-wide discussion. Typically, going through the issues list takes up most of the L10, providing attendees with a set space for discussing important tasks and questions.
- Wrap-up and Rating:
- Quickly runs through all new to-do’s set in the meeting, covers any points for further review, and asks every attendee to rate the meeting: was it a good use of their time?
Again, most companies don’t approach meetings in an effective, beneficial way, leaving employees feeling as though their time is being wasted. L10s are built to be useful.
Every single participant in an L10 should feel as though they’ve gained something from the meeting. In some cases, that might be a new set of tasks, the understanding necessary to complete other pieces of work, or even just the understanding that their work is being appreciated.
Where Level 10s Go Wrong
However, L10s aren’t always perfect from the start. They typically represent a major change for businesses, and this often requires adjustment within the company. In particular, there are several points that may require attention and consideration:
- Empowering Employees: If you haven’t previously given your employees any way to provide feedback on company direction, an L10 can be a severe cultural change. Employees need to understand that their feedback and expertise is vital for the meeting (and the company) to succeed, and this may take time to sink in.
- Irrelevant KPIs: The fact that a Key Performance Indicator has been important in the past doesn’t necessarily mean that it will also be important as an ongoing measurement. Every quarter, review the KPIs being used: is everything still relevant? Have targets changed?
- Getting the Right People: Your L10 meetings don’t necessarily have to include everyone in your business. Past a certain scale, it’s best to cut back to your key staff. Take effective minutes, and you’ll be able to easily update everyone on what’s happened in the meeting.
- Scheduling Effectively: When should you run your L10s? At Shockwave, we run weekly meetings, largely to accommodate for the wide variety of tasks our clients require. In companies with a more set, project-driven schedule, biweekly or monthly meetings may be more appropriate and effective. If you’re struggling to fill the time allocated for your L10s, you may need to reconsider your schedule.