Is Your Agenda Purposeful?

Staff meeting agendas are a lot more meaningful then you might think.

One of Temkin Group’s four customer experience core competencies is Purposeful Leadership. To achieve this competency, leaders must operate with a clear, well-articulated set of values. One of the ways to test a company’s proficiency in this competency is to look at the agenda of staff meetings.

When we work with leadership teams, we like to review the previous six months of their staff meeting agendas. Why? Because the true priorities of an organization are not based on what leaders say is important, but are instead based on how leaders spend their time and make decisions. The topics covered in staff meetings represent the purist indication of what’s really important. As Sprint CEO Dan Hesse recognized, the topics in his staff meetings end up cascading across the organization.

Unfortunately, while many leaders have good intentions, they end up focusing on things that are not really their priorities. They let day-to-day operations and short-term priorities engulf their agendas. But you can make a change if you want to. How? Follow these four steps:

  1. List the top three long-term priorities for your organization.
  2. Look at the last six months of your agendas and ask yourself: “If someone outside of your leadership team looked at the agendas, what would they infer what your priorities are?”
  3. Decide if you are happy with the alignment of your priorities to the agendas.
  4. If you are not happy, then change your future agendas to better match your priorities.

The bottom line: Don’t underestimate the power of your agenda

Written by 

I am a customer experience transformist, helping large organizations improve business results by changing how they deal with customers. As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. I am also a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Simply put, I am passionate about spotting emerging best practices and helping companies master them. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. My “title” is Managing Partner of the Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm that helps organizations become more customer-centric. Our goal is simple: accelerate the path to delighting customers. I am also the co-founder and Emeritus Chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (, a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of CX professionals.

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