Planning for the Monday meeting?  What are you going to say?  There can’t be an organisation in the NHS that isn’t facing some grim news, some finance problem, some delivery issue, some savings malarkey.

What are you going to say to make Monday special and the week memorable?  How will next week be the week that delivers?  

It’s an important week; probably the last fully operational week before Xmas.  Don’t leave things to run into mince pie and party week, or hang-over to mistletoe and New Year.

Pep talk required?  No!  Try that and watch people lean back in their chair and say to themselves ‘this dude ain’t gonna motivate me….‘  

A sporting metaphor, perhaps? Yeh and turn-off all the non-sporting types in the room…

No, no, no…

… so, here are ten ideas that might help you light the blue touch paper.

  1. Start with reality. There is nothing worse than sitting, listening to a manager pretending everything is going to be OK. 

It’s OK to be real; define the issues as you see them and demonstrate you have a grasp of reality.  Avoid the ‘don’t bring me bad news‘ syndrome of the bully-boss.  Show you know ‘where it’s at’ and if you don’t… ask.

  1. Be laser-like, specific. Highlight the problem areas and and outline what needs to be done. 

Avoid; ‘this is all a mess’ approach.  Show you’ve thought about it.  Ask questions; ‘Have we thought of everything, is there anything else?’  Note the strategic use of the word ‘we‘.

  1. Don’t be personal. If there is a team member who isn’t delivering, a meeting is not the place to bawl-them-out;  ‘Jason, why are the spreadsheets out of date?’ 

That’s better done privately.  After, in the meeting, you can say; ‘We’ve decided to let Jane have a go at the spreadsheets…’

  1. Got some stars on the team?

  Be sure to highlight what they have done and big them up.

Got some real triers?  Name them, too.  It will inspire others to get a name-check.  There’s always a back that needs patting, go and find it.

  1. Explain why good is good. Don’t just say someone did good work.  Explain what they did, ask them how they did it. 

What was their approach?  Share success, share what made the success.  Show us all what good looks like.

  1. Meetings with kisses.  Keep It Simple Stupid; don’t get bogged down in the detail. 

Detail is for another type of meeting.  The Monday meeting is about setting the tone and texture of the week ahead.

  1. Show how small things can lead to success. Demonstrate how small, easily achieved things add up to big changes.  Don’t make it look hard.  

No one wants a mountain to climb but step by step you can reach the summit.  Describe the big, tough issues in small bites.  

  1. Focus on the week ahead. Don’t get sidetracked onto reviewing what went wrong last month or last week. 

‘What are we going to do this week, to make our work, this week, work?’

  1. Be confident. Tell the people around the table that you are confident they can achieve…

Come Friday you’ll all have reason to be proud of each other.

Meetings are the launch pad for what happens next.  Make sure everyone leaving the meeting has a clear idea of the part they are going to play.  

  1. Be sure they can be confident, if things start to go wrong, they can have an ‘early warning’ conversation with you.

Be accessible; face to face or on the phone, to flag up problems.

Don’t make Monday the only meeting.  If delivery is going to be really tight think about daily huddles, even huddles morning and afternoon, to catch up, take a snap-shot, recalibrate and don’t be afraid to change the plan.  

The trick is to know what you are trying to deliver and be nimble enough to make sure it happens.

The success of next week will depend on


Telling it like it is.

Asking for opinions, in-put and ideas.

Letting people get-on with the job…

Knowing they have support when they need it.

Have good weekend…


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