Over 15 years ago – I was deep in chaos with a fast growing team and company. Every day was like a week, every week like a month, and every month like a year. Time was flying and we had to make decisions fast to keep up with the speed of growth and the market. We were struggling – working way too many hours and the pile of things to get done and decisions to be made continued to get longer. It was the unending uphill battle.
I was at a conference that Verne Harnish was MC’ing and he kept talking about “The Huddle”. I finally went up to him at a break and asked “What is 'The Huddle'?” Verne answered – “Easy – 15 minutes or less every day with your team following a standing agenda of Good News, Top Priority For The Day and Where Are You Stuck”.
Why does this work:
- THE NAME HUDDLE – comes from a team executing on the field to win the game. Quick meeting before the play and then execute the play. This is no different than in business with your team – every day a quick meeting before the day starts and then execute the day. Every day!
- NO TIME – I love this reaction when working with leadership teams. “We do not have time to meet every day!” Funnily enough – the teams that do huddle every day spend less time in meetings overall and answering emails. This is a fact of a team that huddles every day.
- STANDING AGENDA – is where the agenda items never change but what is talked about every time does. A standing agenda as outlined in #4, 5, and #6 below ensures all attendees are prepared for the meeting. The meeting can be run by any attendee in a snappy round robin fashion.
- GOOD NEWS – this is all about keeping the team cohesive, recognizing other team members that are oozing the core values, and starting the meeting out on a positive note. So easy.
- TOP PRIORITY FOR THE DAY – this is the one thing you have to get done in the next 24 hours to ensure that your monthly and quarterly priorities are accomplished. This is also a way for the rest of the team to understand what your focus is. Other team members might need your support for their priorities and this is a way to organize resources. As well – behaviourally what you say you’re going to get done is normally what you will get done.
- STUCK – it’s okay to be stuck. And even better to tell your peer group you are stuck. This allows the team to work together to support each team member with their stuck and ensure the best people are working on the problem to move forward to achieve the goal quickly. Everyone gets stuck!!
- EVERYDAY BEAT – meeting with your team every day becomes a habit. One that is hard to break. When we started huddling with our team we committed to keep it going for 30 business days straight and then to adjust from there BUT to never stop. And that we did – we never stopped huddling.
In my experience, leaders and team members, meeting with your whole team every day at a set time for 15 minutes or less will allow the team to become a strong peer accountable team that is focused on the “WIN”. Looking back it’s so obvious why a team playing a game huddles often but in business this was not a normal practice. Make The Huddle a habit and reap the benefits outlined above. Once you start you will never stop. Commit to 30 days of huddles today!!