Respectfully Contentious

In Washington Smart CEO this month there is a brief article that gives an example of a company that is implementing a bit of what I was talking about in my Great Ideas presentation at Marco Island in January. There I was talking about better staff meetings, which includes, among other things, separating out the strategic from the tactical into different meeting structures. The model I was talking about has weekly tactical meetings and monthly strategic meetings.

The leadership team of 1-800-GOT-Junk, however, takes this to a new level by doing WEEKLY 3.5-hour strategy meetings. Yes, it’s a lot of time, but they argue that it is important to keep strategic issues on the front burner. They also follow some of the conflict advice that I was talking about at Marco Island. From the CEO:

We really try not to argue to be right but debate to really ensure we all get our fears and worries on the table…. We have a set of norms that we follow to make the meeting as productive, focused, and respectfully contentious.

I love that phrase, “respectfully contentious.”