Lean Team Meeting: Recipe for Success

Jonny Frank
No, this is not the next wave of fashionable diet regimes in the workplace environment. Indeed, this is no fad at all. On the contrary to a new diet, this Lean Team Meeting is effective, easily fits within a work schedule and generates instant results, given its punchy and refreshing environment.

Ingredients

  • Several staff members;
  • A chairperson to run the meeting;
  • A relaxed environment to encourage input from all members;
  • A spoonful of commitment;
  • A handful of objectives from each member;
  • A refreshing, interactive group ethos;
  • A sprinkling of enthusiasm.

Instructions

  • Mix all ingredients together within a private team meeting room;
  • Set the temperature at a comfortable 20°c;
  • Cook for no longer than ten minutes;

What is the Lean Team Meeting?

This is a concept introduced by the Japanese. The Lean Team Meeting (LTM) provides a platform for members within a team environment to collectively list their daily objectives, affording all individuals the opportunity to engage collaboratively, promoting healthy, inter-personal relationships within the team and focusing individuals on current workloads. At its roots, LTM is characterised by Bruce Tuckman's 1965 team-development model - notably forming, storming, norming and performing. For the meeting to run as smoothly as possible, participants should prepare their objectives beforehand for the meeting, otherwise known as “Nemawashi” in Japanese, which means ‘Preparing the roots for planting’.

The Lean Team Meeting (LTM) provides a platform for members within a team environment to collectively list their daily objectives...

How it Works

The daily meetings are objective driven and short, running at no more than ten minutes. Encapsulated by a holistic mindset, the meeting aims to recognise and lighten onerous workloads and alleviate any unnecessary stress. The chair for the informal meeting, both inputs each team member’s objectives in a clear and easily understandable table format, and drives the meeting to ensure it remains lean. To the point, open and results driven; the short meeting requires members to openly engage with one another after the team have listed their objectives for the day, raising other matters perceived as beneficial to the team, such as project specific news or companywide matters, under ‘any other business/matters’. Due to collaboration, duplicated effort is identified and avoided, driving efficiencies in the team.

What We Do

At a convenient time in the work day, after emails and urgent errands have been run, the team congregates in a private, booked, meeting room. Given the nature of professionals these days, individuals are often coming and going and as such, a regroup has been a helpful way of keeping members up to date with current matters. As familiarity grows between participants within the meeting, added values are generated including building team cohesion, atmosphere and breakdown of boundaries through familiarity between all members, regardless of age, gender, experience and role. To finish, a photo of the objectives and summary of any other business is taken and circulated between the team.

With its generic format and flexible nature, the LTM is an appropriate tool for small groups to congregate, identify team and personal objectives and collaborate... 

Transferrable

The LTM has been successfully implemented on Highways England’s A1 Leeming to Barton project since May 2016, with positive reviews from participants, and compliments from the contractor’s directors, having seen the positive benefit it brings. With its generic format and flexible nature, the LTM is an appropriate tool for small groups to congregate, identify team and personal objectives and collaborate in order to efficiently implement them.

Regardless of what you are balancing on your plate, be it a meaty tender return or the finishing touches to a task at the end of your working week, the LTM is a piece of cake. Now that you have a taste for it, it’s time for you to tuck in and see what you can bring to the table for the benefit of your team.

"Yonde kurete arigatou" - thank you for reading

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