Closing the Loop: Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Members at a recent Client Advisory Council meeting were vocal about the importance of coming back on the advice offered during the meeting and sharing what actions have been taken. When it comes to follow-up after the Advisory Council meeting, it is not just what you say, but what you do that matters.

While we all focus on the work leading up to the Council meeting, planning for what will happen the day after the meeting and how you will “close the loop” on advice is equally important to keep the momentum going.

Tips for a post-meeting plan: 

  • Immediately after the Council sessions, think about the following questions:
    • What will you do with the advice you just gained?
    • How will you engage clients differently?
    • Where will you drive change in your processes and people?
  • Develop a document or tool outlining the observations and actions and determine who will be responsible for leading each effort. Often the individual who presented will take the lead on the actions, though depending on what action needs to be taken, a business unit leader or the Council chair may be on point to drive outcomes.
  • Follow-up between meetings with the accountable parties to ensure that things are progressing and uncover where potential roadblocks may be. Making the decision to not act on advice is okay, as long as there is a clear rationale for why you didn’t act.
  • Carve out a specific time during the next customer advisory council meeting to provide members with a status of how things are moving along. Close out those things that have been completed and be clear on timelines and progress for those that are longer term.

Council members spend significant time from their days attending council meetings and providing thoughtful input. They also make decisions about the effectiveness of a Council based on how well things are actioned. To retain your top members, you have to have a plan for the meeting and a plan for the days that follow when the actions begin.

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