We sat down to chat with Tuan Nguyen (Ed Tech entrepreneur and founder of HealthGenie) about the Weekly Astronaut Meetings (WAM) that he has with his team.
Tuan explains that a WAM is where team members become astronauts in order to look at their organization from outer space; in other words, a meeting to get a high-level overview of the company and its operations.
Many organizations adopt some form of regular high-level meeting with executive team members.
WAM attendees include the leadership team: Tuan and his fellow co-founders and CTO.
WAMs usually last 30-60 minutes, depending on the size of your team and number of meeting attendees, with very specific time allotments per meeting segment, as noted in Tuan’s template.
To make it even easier and fun to incorporate Tuan’s high-level WAMs into your weekly meeting roster, the agenda segments even rhyme!
What’s inside Tuan’s WAM Template
1 Deeds (8 min 20 seconds)
The first portion of the meeting is spent sharing deeds, or the positive accomplishments of each team member. The deeds shared often include the completion of designated deliverables or projects, and the success habit learned or implemented by the team member in order to do their respective deed. Each team member is given 2 minutes and 5 seconds to share their deed for the week.
Tuan explains that this part of the meeting is designed to make team members feel like kids in a candy store, or winners of the highest discount on a scratch-n-save; a moment of celebration to set the meeting off on a positive note, and model success habits on a team level.
2 Bleeds (8 min 20 seconds)
The next portion of the WAM is spent on deep thinking and reflection, where team members determine where they bled, or wasted, resources during the past week. During the bleeds segment of the meeting team members discuss where they were limiting with time, human and financial resources, and provide actionable ideas to stop and/or prevent these bleeds.
Tuan emphasizes the importance of portion of the bleed discussion for instilling a company culture of sharing, reflection and vulnerability.
3 Weeds (12 min and 60 seconds)
The third WAM agenda item is the weeds. This is the time when meeting participants discuss any major challenges that occurred in the previous week that impacted team members’ ability to complete action items or projects.
As each weed is shared, the team brainstorms ideas to overcome the weeds and continue forward on the stalled actions or deliverables without barriers.
4 Feeds (8 min and 20 seconds)
The feeds portion of the WAM is all about leveling up team productivity. Tuan includes some key questions he encourages you to ask your team during the feeds portion of your WAM:
- What is the greatest opportunity for you, your project and your team this week?
- What is one thing you can do in the coming week to scale your positive results?
- What is one thing you can do to feed your mind and body so you can show yourself some love?
Tuan explains that posing these specific questions gives team members an opportunity to reflect on the personal and professional success habits they can implement to ensure a positive work-life balance for themselves and their colleagues. This company culture is crucial to ensure employees are happy, healthy and successful.
5 Needs (6 min and 4 seconds)
The second last segment of the WAM is spent discussing any needs. This is an opportunity for team members to ask questions, get approvals or request support from their colleagues. Determining each team member’s needs for accomplishing their action items can help to eliminate potential bleeds and weeds before they occur, and turn your feeds into deeds to share at the next WAM.
Encouraging meeting participants to ask for help or support is important to creating an open and honest company culture and to ensuring collaboration among team members.
6 Exceeds (4 min and 56 seconds)
The final portion of the WAM is spent recognizing a team member who exceeds by highlighting the work they’ve done, an idea they’ve shared or steps they took to go above and beyond expectations.
Celebrating team member’s achievements is important to ensure their personal continued success and motivate other team members to do the same.
With this unique and engaging template we guarantee you’re going to love having WAMs with your team!