Management forum

All managers from across the department, including the managing director, come together to discuss strategic management issues. Depending upon need, these meetings could be held bi-monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually.

Good for

  • Departments of all sizes (i.e. could be a superintendent meeting with their management or or all Building Operations managers coming together).
  • Most effective in departments that have a lot of locations or diverse clientele.


  • It builds a sense of professionalism and comradeship among management.
  • The forum diminishes the isolation that some managers can feel, especially if they are in the field.
  • It provides a chance to refocus on—and examine the validity of—business plan goals, priorities, and strategies.
  • It promotes “higher level,” more strategic thinking and discussion.


  • It takes management out of the workplace for a day.
  • Travel, accommodation, and refreshment costs if it’s off-campus.


Managers often feel a need to meet with other managers to discuss issues facing the organization. Sometimes managers feel that a lot of effort is made to keep front-line employees in the loop, at the expense of keeping management informed. These meetings provide an opportunity to refocus management on strategic issues and to hear from the managing director or vice-president.

Managers travel to a central location, usually on-campus, away from their workplace, for their meeting. Meetings usually last a day and offer a mix of presentations and interactive discussion.

Management meetings may be timed to coincide with the start of the business planning cycle or a significant event, such as a restructuring. Compared to shorter town halls, management meetings often explore the most up-to-date information to develop action plans and how this information will be shared with staff.

Handouts or information kits may be appropriate, because the meetings can be long and can cover a lot of topics. Managers might duplicate the handouts and share them with staff or use the information in them to deliver consistent messages to staff about issues and events. Staff do communicate between offices, so consistent messaging is critical.

As with department-wide meetings, appropriate accommodation must be considered for managers with special needs.

Next steps

The managing director or agency head should follow up with managers to ensure that the meeting met both their needs and those of the organization.