Penryn-based SaaS startup Agendali aims to bring structure and purpose to business meetings
Meetings. The bane of the office worker’s life, endlessly dragging us away from the work we’re supposed to be doing, and serving no purpose beyond letting the company blowhard drone on about their latest tedious exploits.
If that’s what meetings are like in your company, you’re doing it wrong, according to accountant-turned-software entrepreneur Bob Harper.
He believes a well-run meeting has the power to transform a company’s fortunes – and has created a meeting management app, Agendali, to help accountants and their clients get more from their get-togethers.
“Nobody teaches you how to run a world-class meeting,” says Harper. “You just hold them based on what you see your peers doing. But most of the time those meetings aren’t effective because they don’t follow best practice.”
The power of the ‘Level 10’ meeting
One of those best practices is to have a set agenda that’s sent to everyone before the meeting starts, Harper says. Another is to have a specific purpose in mind, and a desired outcome. Too often, meetings happen without any of those things, so they’re not productive.
Agendali aims to change all that. It’s a cloud-based app that includes agendas for different types of meeting, a meeting management process that keeps the organiser focused, and – crucially – the ability for people to rate the quality of the meeting they’ve just attended.
The ultimate goal is to help companies hold ‘Level 10’ meetings – a concept borrowed from the book Traction – where everything about the meeting leads to a positive outcome for the business.
“You focus on the root cause of an issue, you set actions to tackle it, and you come back next week to review how you’ve got on,” Harper says. “You’re addressing the right things, you have better discussions, you make better decisions, and you have a more productive business as a result.”
Harbour Lights turns its fortunes around
An early beneficiary of the Agendali approach is Harbour Lights, Falmouth’s award-winning fish and chip restaurant. Its devoted customers know it as the best chippy in Cornwall, but behind the scenes, all was not well.
Owner Pete Fraser was struggling with a highly seasonal business that some years was barely profitable, and which at times required big cash loans to see it through the winter months. This financial rollercoaster led to stress that was starting to affect Pete’s home life.
Determined to turn things around, Pete asked Bob Harper to help him tackle the underlying issues in the business. Together they started to hold weekly Level 10 meetings, and the impact was immediate.
“Those meetings took Harbour Lights from its worst year ever to its best year ever,” says Harper. “All we did was identify issues, set actions to tackle them, and repeat that relentlessly, week after week.”
That, he says, is the power of holding meetings the Agendali way – and the app will make the same approach achievable for small businesses worldwide. Currently in alpha testing, Agendali will be available for beta testing later this year. Companies can join a waiting list at www.agendali.com.
Disclosure: I have done paid writing work for Agendali’s sister company, Goal Driver, but this article is fully independent.