“Meetings are a waste of time, especially when I have so much to do.”
You’ve heard the team air their views on this, and you may have even entertained this thought yourself at times. Why spend so much time talking about what we have to do, when we could just be doing it instead?
But before you start re-arranging your meeting schedule to claw back your time, I’m going to suggest you actually add a meeting to the schedule, not only that, it’s one that you should do everyday!
Bear with me.
This meeting is known as the Daily Huddle, and it’s been a game changer for many businesses.
What is a Daily Huddle?
Held every morning, and kept strictly to a time limit (ideally 5-15 minutes) this is a process which allows for teams to unite under a clear focus for the day. The meeting follows a short, well-defined agenda.
It opens with each attendee providing a 30 second update specifically on what they are achieving in the next 24 hours. These brief updates relate only to key activities, meetings or decisions. After this, the next five minutes are spent verbalising any daily metrics your company monitors. This allows the team to look for patterns and trends which can give you a jump on the competition and on your own challenges.
Finally, the last five minutes are the most important time slot on the agenda. This is about what's holding you back in achieving your 24 hour goals. It gives team members the opportunity to share key constraints and concerns which could prevent them from hitting their daily KPIs. This also gives the leader a heads up on the underlying issues which must be addressed quickly.
The daily huddle should be used by functional teams or projects-based teams. When done right, it’s very powerful in boosting productivity, collaboration and company culture.
Are you ready to give it a try? Here are four ways to get the best out of the daily huddle and use it to effectively drive the company forward.
1) Create focus for your day:
Use this allocated time before everyone becomes too absorbed in their morning routines. By creating an outcome you’d like to see by the end of the day, you’re placing accountability for the team to follow through on tasks as everyone knows what everyone else is up to.
2) Create a culture of sharing:
Whether it’s sharing the numbers or updating the team on progress towards a certain goal or KPI, transparency is an important tool to leverage during the daily huddle. This is because it helps align the team under a core purpose and gives them a sense of direction.
3) Drive accountability:
All team members need to come prepared with their daily schedule. By writing it down or creating a mental checklist, it helps keep people on track and focused. Coupled with verbalising it to the team, it reinforces the sense of urgency and helps keep people accountable..
4) Take advantage of unforeseen opportunities:
The daily huddle will also force members of the team to think of any roadblocks which could prevent them from achieving their 24 hour goal. Being able to share any difficulties with the rest of the team can quickly eliminate any foreseen issues and, if not, opens up the floor for or collaborative problem solving. If someone needs additional help, follow up after the huddle and assist in solving their problem.
Huddles are a time to share and a time to listen. By taking 5 - 15 minutes each morning in order to set up priorities and work cross-functionally, your team will communicate better, spend less time in ad hoc meetings and ciphering through miscommunications, as well as be more productive in strategically reaching goals. If done right, the daily huddle should never feel like a waste of time again.
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