My wife and I recently relocated to the Lake Cumberland area in Bronston, Kentucky. We love our new home, new friends and the lake isn’t bad either. But there are a few things I miss about our previous home. For example, I miss our large deck that was surrounded by huge oak trees. The oaks provided plenty of shade in the summer, but they also provided something else… squirrels.
During the first few years we lived there, they weren’t an issue. Fast forward several years and the squirrel population grew. After that, it didn’t take long to learn that squirrels could be a real nuisance, especially when they found their way into the attic. Fortunately for me, I didn’t have to get rid of them because the people who bought our house inherited the new fluffy-tailed family.
Staff meetings are another place squirrels seem to invade and cause problems. Obviously I am not talking about the nut-eating animal who lives in the trees (and sometimes your attic). I am talking about the disruptions and distractions that often find their way into staff meetings. When this happens, the ability to stay focused and productive becomes a struggle and results in poor planning.
Here are some signs that your staff meetings may have a squirrel problem:
Staff meetings never start or end on time
Social media fights for the attention in the room
New ideas and offline conversations override the agenda
Everyone leaves with little or no clear accomplishments
Fun on the Front End
There always seems to be that last squirrel hanging around at the end of meetings, waiting to jump in. This particular squirrel is usually the one responsible for meetings lasting much longer than they should. While there are always exceptions, as the team leader, it is important to finish on time. When a team consistently starts and finishes on time, rhythm happens. When a team finds their rhythm, stuff gets done. So, if you need a standard squirrel proof meeting agenda, here it is: