I call it the Upfront – it might have other names to you, but this is possibly the least offensive one.
What happens at the Upfront?
The upfront is a meeting where everyone that is attending knows that brutal honesty is required. There is no room for niceties and hand holding, it’s an all out discussion that would take place in a warroom if it were happening.
There is a big problem and it requires everyone’s heads to get through it.
The upfront is not there for solutioning, the upfront has only one goal – get everyone on the same page because right now we are not.
When people leave an upfront there should be no question as to what was discussed and where the team is on the issue discussed (whether it’s a combined opinion and/or you now know where everyone’s opinion stands).
Upfronts should not get used all the time, they are a rare tool that gets pulled out when you need them, if only to signify to others in your team how serious the issue is.
That’s their magic and if everyone is onboard with the purpose, what comes next should help the team learn, grow and develop and move forward with whatever issue is plaguing them.