Q&As add more value per minute

Today, I will be hosting a Q&A call on the topic of internal investigations for my team of ethics & compliance officers (ECOs).

One of my colleagues, a retired FBI special agent, will be answering most of the questions. We have no agenda and no slides. We haven’t prepared in the slightest way, if you discount the 60+ years of experience we have between the two of us.

The idea of hosting Q&A sessions came to me after years of delivering formal presentations. I noticed that my favorite part of a one-hour presentation was the Q&A in the last 2 to 5 minutes. I loved the engagement and I felt, no, I knew, that I was adding real value. Eventually, I decided to allocate at least a third of any presentation to Q&As, no matter how much time I was given to present. Even when I took one hour of questions, I seemed to run out of time and employees would approach me afterwards for more.

So it wasn’t a big stretch to create Q&A-only sessions. I have hosted several on conflict of interests and investigations, and will soon offer other topics. The beauty of these sessions is that I don’t have to guess what’s on my team’s mind. They will ask us questions that really matter to them. We will add value no matter what. It’s a great feeling.

Any leader can easily hold these sessions. Choose a topic your employees care about. For example, you can hold a session for employees who joined your organization less than 3 months ago. Based on their questions, you’ll be able to identify ways to improve your onboarding process. Or you can do something a bit more challenging and hold a session about bullying or sexual harassment.

The density of value-add in Q&A sessions is worth a leader’s time. Give it a try.

2 thoughts on “Q&As add more value per minute

  1. Yan, great post. Do you track attendance for these? What’s the invite look like? Any context provided to engage the dialogue, or is it a completely open forum? I think these are a great idea!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you AP! Here’s some additional info:

      I don’t track attendance. I support a team of 500 ECOs located all over the world, so I typically hold 3 calls for each topic. One at 8 AM, one at 2 PM and another one at 8 PM. For this last topic on investigation, about 120 joined the first call, 50 joined the second, and 30 joined the third. Not bad for an optional event.

      My invitation is via Outlook calendar and I use WebEx. I simply tell them that I will be on the line to answer their questions and invite them to submit the questions in advance. Few submit in advance. I’ve done this about 10 times and only twice did we run out of questions before the end of the hour (i.e. I usually have to cut it short). Callers use the chat feature in WebEx to submit questions.

      I wholeheartedly encourage all leaders to do this!


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