Hi there,

I've been absent for quite some time. Things have finally settled a bit and I'm in a new role, about to return to the routine of O3's.  Theoretically, this new position (Team Lead) is not a managerial one with direct reports - especially following the restructuring a few years back.  Effectively, though, that's exactly what it is.  I will be getting ten employees / indivdual contributors to work with, each of whom report to one of our two executives. The expectations the exec's have laid out include: call monitoring, mentoring, professional development, coaching and O3s.


  • Did O3's change from "10/10/10" to avoid 'agenda fascism' in the past 18 mos? 
  • What are your thoughts on a generally/loosely-organized rotating series of O3s to ensure "all of the above" are covered?

 For the most part, the bulk of the group was handed to me - some from my counterpart that she thinks "will benefit from a new relationship," two from the execs (one each) and two employees who are new to the company/division.  That comprises my first 8 employees.  Having listened to the "Political Mentoring" cast from 2010, I asked to take on two more employees from the high performer category with the goal of developing future leaders.  (I get the sense my counterpart will want-in on that approach. Simultaneously, I am prepared for reluctance from the execs on the basis of "they're doing well, you can use your time elsewhere.")

That said, I'm looking at ten folks and the desire to accomplish "all of the above."  

One of the casts I listened to the other day stressed that O3s are business meetings for developing relationships.  Okay.  And yet, I need to build-in coaching, mentoring and all the other stuff.

These employees work on a call-flow which monitors their stats as a performance metric. I am loathe to establish multiple meetings with each person for each area:

  • O3 meetings for relationship building,
  • mentoring meetings,
  • coaching/development meetings. 

At the same time, I'm not 100% confident a 30 min weekly session will allow us to cover "all of the above" effectively or appropriately.

In the past, I held to the 30 min O3 meetings and split the overall (though tentative) focus on a rotating schedule:

  • Week 1: general O3
  • Week 2: metric-oriented O3
  • Week 3: general O3
  • Week 4: career development O3

I'm considering doing the same thing this go-round with:

  • Week 1: general O3
  • Week 2: call-monitoring/metrics O3
  • Week 3: general O3
  • Week 4: career development O3

I know that M&M are adamant about not imposing "agenda fascism" and it's not my intention to go down that road.  I do want to be sure that the high points are covered.  I also want to make sure that the employees are feeling / getting the message that their development is important to me; likewise, they need to know that monitoring/metrics are still important facets of their jobs while simultaneously sending the message to the execs that these things are being covered.

Additionally, the tendency at this company and this division is to have bi-weekly meetings, 1-hr in duration.  I'd like to stick to the 30-minute model simply because I believe in "no meeting should ever exceed 30 minutes" as a general principle and because a 30 minute meeting makes it easier to break-away-from-the-pile-of-work. (The hour-long version seems too daunting to many people, myself included, and becomes an obstacle to the pending work.)  

Given all that needs to be accomplished - 

  • build a relationship,
  • review & discuss metrics,
  • do some call monitoring with some coaching & mentoring
  • professional development for future leaders

How can all of that possibly be crammed into 30 minutes every week and still be effective while avoiding agenda fascism?  Gah! 

I'm hoping there aren't strong objections to my "rotating, loosely-scheduled areas of focus" approach because it worked fairly well a few years ago with my own team of DRs.

Another concern I have is that I've been away from MT (the boards, the casts) for so long and I'm starting to wonder: have O3's changed?  Is it still "ten minutes for you, ten minutes for me, ten minutes for the future"?  Or are the 30-min blocks simply focused on relationship building for professional development and each pairing is free to take the meeting in a direction that organically arises each week?