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The real cause of bad meetings, flameouts.

Recognizing when a flameout is about to happen is key to improving your meetings and company performance. 

When I was a boy who dreamed of becoming a fighter pilot, I tried to learn everything I could about jet planes. That's when I heard about flameout for the first time.

A flameout is "the failure of a jet engine caused by the extinction of the flame in the combustion chamber." I've never seen a jet engine flame out, but I've seen a lot of flame outs in business. You probably have as well.

Business execution flameout

We've worked with several clients who started out all fired up about their BHAG, their quarterly Strategic Projects and their KPIs. But when we checked back with them, all that energy was gone and not much had happened. They flamed out.

Just like a jet engine, those companies lost thrust. They stopped moving forward toward that BHAG, toward achieving RESULTS. Over the years, I've learned that there are two main reasons why companies flame out.

Some companies flame out because they lose focus. They start "chasing squirrels" and spreading their energy over many less important things than the Strategic Projects they've agreed on.

Other companies just get tired or try to take on too much, and as a result they fail to do anything well. Achieving your BHAG isn't easy, or everyone would do it. It takes hard work, and sometimes that wears people out. This kind of flameout doesn't happen all at once.

First, someone decides that "just for this week" he or she won't work on their Strategic Projects or update their KPIs in their dashboard. They are too busy fighting fires and doing busywork. Then it happens again. Soon, that individual (or that company) isn't moving things forward at all.

There are also situations in which a person is “in the red” on a KPI week after week, month after month, and nobody does anything about it. That sends the message that good performance isn't important and, after a while, performance slacks off.

The answer? Meetings! Read how to make meetings incredibly effective using the 5Ps. 

Article written by:

Stephen_Lynch_RESULTS.com   Stephen Lynch
Head of Strategy and Consulting – RESULTS.com
Excerpted from the book: Business Execution for RESULTS
Stephen Lynch

Author of the award winning business book Business Execution for RESULTS & President of RESULTS.com, Lynch is an internationally known Strategy Consultant and a contributing writer for The Economist magazine.

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