Rajiv spoke at Fastly’s Altitude Summit in San Francisco. #Altitude2016 was a full day conference featuring technical content and idea sharing about the edge, web performance and content delivery from industry experts. Rajiv spoke from his personal knowledge of a CTO’s role in getting, maintaining, and developing buy-in for infrastructure engineering projects from business stakeholders.
The World Economic Forum and its partners have developed and shared a way for organizations to calculate the impact of cyber security threats. The framework, called cyber value-at-risk comes at a time when cyberattacks are increasing in velocity and intensity, and when 90% of companies worldwide recognize they are insufficiently prepared to protect themselves against them.
I feel honored to have been one of the participants in the development of this. The project is led by Elena Kvochko and team of the World Economic Forum in collaboration with Deliotte and other Forum partners.
The World Economic Forum announced this today at the annual meeting in Davos.
If you are the manager of a team of people at your job, here is a format we suggest for running your staff meetings. We call it the 3-5-7 format because of its convention of giving 3 to 5 minutes per person to answer 7 questions. This system assumes that you have fewer than ten direct reports so that you can complete such a staff meeting in under one hour.
The purpose of a staff meeting need not be to get status reports. If you have excellent collaboration tools at work where statuses, issues and risks are already documented, that’s preferable. Some companies like Automattic (WordPress) make great use of internal blogs for communication. However, face-to-face meetings are continue to be useful because our brains have evolved being wired for being most effective in face-to-face conversations for several things.
An in-person (or via video conference) discussion structured around these questions is likely to be effective in finding solutions, building a more collaborative team and keeping everyone on the same page.
Here are the seven questions we suggest you request each attendee to come prepared to answer.
What did we (you and the team reporting in to you) do over the past week?
What did you learn over the past week?
What do we (you and the team reporting in to you) plan to do over the next week?
What issues are we (you and the team reporting in to you) facing now or are likely to face in the future?
What do you suggest are our countermeasures to address those issues?
What do you need help with from the rest of us in this meeting?
Is there anything non-work-related that you’d like to share?
Each person may answer the seven questions the order of their choice and may also combine the answers to multiple questions. The only requirement is that all seven areas be answered in a focused, efficient, and effective narrative lasting between three to five minutes.
You can post these slides as signs in your meeting rooms and offices or include them at the start of your presentations. You can also open the original Google Slides document to print or leave comments.
Every time someone calls a meeting, they should consider using this simple template.
[ meeting-invitation-template begins ]
The desired outcome of this meeting is:
e.g. Come to agreement on solution for issue X
e.g. Make a decision about Y.
e.g. Share announcements about topic Z.
e.g. Continue to grow a good working relationship with each other by socializing in person.
Note: Explain what this meeting is meant to accomplish, instead of providing a description of the meeting. Focus on the desired result of the meeting. A meeting should accomplish one or more of three things:
Share knowledgeand agree to act on it and/or make it a practice
Knowledge, as in: data –leads-to–> information –leads-to–> knowledge –leads-to–> practice
You should come to this meeting because:
e.g. You are likely to have input into potential solutions for issue X
e.g. You are one of the folks who has a viewpoint on what decision to make regarding Y.
e.g. It would benefit you from hearing the announcements in this meeting.
e.g. This is your opportunity to ask questions about topic Z.
Note: Give the attendees at least one good reason to attend. Sometimes attendees have no idea why they are invited to this meeting. Don’t be seen as a waster of others’ time.
The guidelines for participating in this meeting are:
e.g. Please come prepared having read the document about ChaosMonkey.
e.g. Laptops & mobile communication devices are considered contraband during this meeting. If it is critical for you to have a computer during this meeting, bring a desktop computer :-)
By default, we should only attend meetings where we are active participants, not passive attendees with not much to contribute to the desired outcome of the meeting. There are some exceptions to this like training sessions, educational presentations or others where the purpose for attendees is to learn something.
When I receive a meeting request, I often reply with the following text.
May I please request the following information in advance of this meeting? It will enable me to prepare, participate and be productive in the meeting.
What do you recommend I should prepare in advance of this meeting?
What decisions do we need to make at this meeting?
What problems do we need to solve at this meeting?
Thank you in advance,
Time Management Tip: When you receive an invite for a meeting at work where you believe you may not add much value, reply to the invite with a polite message like:
Thank you for inviting me to this meeting. It seems from the subject, agenda, and attendees list that I’m not a required participant for this meeting. If I’m mistaken and my presence is required in this meeting, please accept my apologies and let me know that I should attend.
This is preferable to ignoring the meeting invite or declining without comment that may come across as rude.
To save time, you can save the above templates as text snippets to be inserted via a keyboard shortcut/macro or in a place from where you can quickly and easily copy and paste.
Companies should, by default, avoid scheduling meetings that start before 10am or end after 5pm. If an employee comes to the office at 8am on some days, it is often to use the two hours of the morning before meetings to catch up and/or get a head start on the day. Meetings that start before 10am are often harmful overall since they put the attendees in reactive catch up mode for the rest of the day. Similarly, meetings that go on beyond 5pm (or worse, start after 5pm) take away valuable time from employees that they use to absorb information and events of the day, catch up with replying to email and get ready for the next work day.
i.e. Companies should consider any time outside the 10am to 5pm window to be not available for meetings and definitely not any weekly recurring meetings.
Preferably, employees who are ‘makers’ should have one 4-hour continuous block of time each day when they are free from meetings. (‘Makers’ differentiated from ‘Managers’)