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Organization Management Rhythm (part 6.1): Tools – 7-Minute Drill

This article is part 6.1 of a series of articles on Organization Management Rhythm.

This is by far the most important product an organization can produce. This single piece of paper tells what the meeting purpose is, the time, frequency, place, type of meeting, what it produces, who is over the meeting, who is responsible for/in charge of the meeting, who needs to be there, what goes into the meeting, the outputs and tasks from the meeting, what it feeds into, and finally the agenda. The military calls it a 7-Minute Drill because they have seven minutes to explain to the Chief of Staff why this meeting should occur1.

This one document starts the process for the analysis of meetings. How they support the decision cycle? This helps senior leaders to visualize the information flows from this meeting. Calendar rhythm events as color-coded nodes situated along planning horizons with input and output relationships as connections. How each meeting supports the critical path? It analyzes the touch points to the critical path and evaluates how the staff is engaged and distributed. It helps identify any potential meeting issues and possible courses of action to eliminate the issue.

The person responsible for the meeting will fill out a 7-Minute Drill. Proper meeting management begins with preparing an agenda for the meeting. Once approved, the agenda and any read-ahead should then be provided in advance to the members of the scheduled meeting. This information ensures an informed discussion on the topics resulting in more efficient and effective output.

It allows for independent questions or concerns to be brought up ahead of the meeting time, allowing the meeting team time to address the questions. This could actually cause the meeting to be cancelled or moved to allow for more information to be gathered. 7-Minute Drills help eliminate having meetings for the sake of having meetings, wasting staff time and resources, and often results in the failure to effectively and efficiently obtain the desired output.

Leaders should analyze meetings to:

  1. Identify and align meeting inputs and output.
  2. Identify duplicative meetings that can be combined.
  3. Sequence meetings to ensure the output aligns with the input of subsequent meetings.
  4. Synchronize meetings with the operations Organization Management Rhythm.
  5. Maximize allotted time.
7-Minute Drill
Figure 1. 7-Minute Drill.

Next part (part 6.2): Tools – 7-Minute Drill Rollup.

Acknowledgements: Thank you to Tomi Antill, Keith Davis, Elise Keith from Lucid Meetings, JFHQ-C Leadership, and Kendra Albright from Kent State University, without whose support this series would not have been possible.

Header image source: U.S. National Archives, Public Domain.


  1. Findlay, M. (Ed.). (2019, September). Joint Headquarters Organization, Staff Integration, and Battle Rhythm.
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John Antill

John Antill is currently a Knowledge Manager at US Army Expeditionary Workforce. With over 14 years of progressively responsible knowledge management experience in complex technical roles – both military and civilian – requiring exceptional project coordination, problem solving, and management skills, John has established a track record of success by leveraging a collaborative leadership style to accomplish all short- and long-range objectives. An engaging and articulate communicator, he is able to clearly convey complex technical information and propose novel solutions to build consensus with key project stakeholders, including high-value clients and executive leadership. Furthermore, his consistent focus on remaining at the forefront of rapidly evolving technology allows him to drive enterprise-wide innovation and maintain a competitive advantage.JOhn is on the Board of Minority Empowerment Through Technology which provides underserved college STEM students to get the technology they need to be successful in their courware and projects.John Holds a Master of Science in Knowledge Management from Kent State university and a Master of Certified Knowledge Management from the KMInstitute.

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