Create communication clarity through your Execution Cadence | Execution Cadence: Step 7 of the Talent Planning Process

Time to read: 4 minutes

I bike a lot, over 100 miles every week. But my focus is less on miles and something more important.

My focus is on the cadence (miles per hour).

It isn’t a question of how many miles I’m going to bike, but how quickly I will bike those miles. So the cadence is what I measure and try to improve because a smooth cadence is critical for a great ride.

The same could be said about your business. The cadence is one of the critical factors for how smoothly your business operates and the speed your company grows.

What is your current cadence? Another way to say it is what is the rhythm for executing your strategy? I looked up the definition of cadence, and in business terms, it’s how often regularly scheduled things happen, like meetings.

And if you do not have a cadence, your strategy will not be executed as smoothly as possible. And that’s why in today’s Scoop and podcast (click here to listen), I cover the final step of the Talent Planning Process, how to define your execution cadence.

As a final recap, the seven steps of the Talent Planning Process are (click to read):

What is an Execution Cadence?

An Execution Cadence is a consistent set of focused meetings that creates a rhythm to your organization that ensures effective communication, accountability, the execution of your plan, and ultimately, the success of your organization.

Your Execution Cadence defines:

  • Who will attend each meeting
  • What you will talk about (the agenda)
  • When the meeting will take place
  • How long the meeting will last
  • Who owns each meeting

One of the most significant benefits of having an execution cadence is communication clarity. Everyone in your company knows when they’re going to get updates, ask questions, and how to best engage in executing the strategy and talent plan.

That’s why having an execution cadence is critical to organizational success.

The 7 meetings of an Execution Cadence

Now, let’s look at the seven meetings that make up an Execution Cadence:

Meeting 1: Leadership Team Meeting
When: Weekly
Who: Leadership team
Length: 75 minutes

This weekly meeting is where the leadership team establishes priorities, makes any strategic decisions, and decides what needs to be communicated to the rest of the organization. This lays the groundwork for what will get done in the coming week.

In the last organization I ran, we held this meeting on Monday at 8:30am, and it set the tone for the rest of the week.

Meeting 2: Department Meetings
When: Weekly
Who: Each department team

Length: 60 minutes

This meeting is great to have on Tuesday, as each leader will share what transpired in the Leadership meeting on Monday. This helps push communication across the entire organization.

Meeting 3: Plan Execution
When: Monthly
Who: Leadership team

Length: 75 minutes

This meeting focuses on ensuring the ActON plans are completed to achieve the goals for the current sprint. You will also review key metrics, see where you are in executing the plan, and make adjustments. This meeting helps answer the critical question of “is your plan is working?”

Meeting 4: Sprint
When: Every 3 months or 4 months
Who: Leadership team

Length: 6 hours

Depending on the length of your sprints, you will meet every 3 or 4 months to evaluate the previous sprint and then reset goals for the following sprint. This is a great way to remain agile and pivot when needed to achieve the vision you set in Step 3.

Meeting 5: Company
When: Within 1-2 weeks after Sprint Meeting
Who: Entire company

Length: 60 minutes

You will share the updated goals and any other significant adjustments made in the sprint meeting in this meeting. This helps maintain your communication clarity and provides everyone in the company insight into how the execution of the strategy and talent plan is going. It also highlights what the organization will accomplish in the next sprint.

Meeting 6: Huddle
When: Daily or every other day
Who: Each department

Length: 10 minutes

This meeting is about establishing the priorities for the day and ensuring everyone knows what they will get done for the day. Some of the leaders I work with swear by this meeting, and for others, it does not fit their style.

Holding this meeting is up to you, but here at Stop The Vanilla, we have one on Monday and then another on Wednesday.

Meeting 7: 1:1
When: Monthly
Who: Leader and direct reports

Length: 90 minutes

This meeting focuses on connection, communication, and, most importantly, furthering the individual’s development through their individual talent plan. The 1:1 meeting is essential because you are having proactive conversations to resolve any people issues before they impact your business.

How to define your Execution Cadence

For each meeting listed above, define who owns the meeting, who will attend, when it will take place, and for how long. Customize the above meetings to fit your business’s specific needs.

Also, define the objectives and agenda for each meeting to ensure each meeting is efficient and effective. We believe that effective meetings have three things:

  1. A timed agenda
  2. All ActON and ActIN plans are reviewed and recorded
  3. An issues and opportunities list that is revisited every meeting

The Single Scoop 🍨

Define your Execution Cadence. Put it in writing or in a software to ensure it gets done and establishes a healthy rhythm for your business to continue moving toward its vision.

Meetings are essential to a high-performance team and organization. When all team members have communication clarity, they look forward to meetings, resulting in an organization and a department that accelerates growth.

Always remember, those who Talent Plan — Profit!

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