We implemented the daily huddle several months ago, but now we find that instead of 5 minutes, they’re going as long as 45! How can I get my executive team back on track?
CEOs often find that the practice of a daily huddle can drag into the morning as check-ins stretch into impromptu meetings. Here are some tips to get back on track:
- Get back to basics. Stick to What’s Up, KPIs, and Stucks.
- Stand up. This matters. Energy is different when people are standing. Being on your feet signals the brain that we’re moving. Even the most long-winded will be more succinct and stay on topic better.
- Have a facilitator and rotate weekly. The huddle’s energy will stay high as new people try to figure out how to make this quick, succinct gathering work. At least once a quarter you’ll have a facilitator do something unexpected that is an Ah-ha! for the team and makes the huddle better. Evolve with new ideas that spring from fresh energy.
- Develop shorthand for each agenda item. Have the facilitator repeat the shorthand for each person in the huddle, the same agenda item for each person around the circle. For example, rather than asking each team member “What are you working on today? Anything happening at home we should know about? Did you have any wins yesterday?” simply say “Hot topics?” “News?” or “What’s up?” Your team will know your jargon for each item.
- Need a longer meeting? There will be times, maybe often, where something comes up in the huddle that needs a longer discussion. Table it until the huddle is over. When the facilitator declares the huddle complete, let anyone go who doesn’t have to be in the longer discussion, (optional) go refill coffees, then sit down and start the longer meeting. This allows the huddle to keep its energy and the longer discussion to happen as efficiently as possible. Remember, that longer discussion needed to happen whether or not you had a huddle. If you didn’t huddle, how would know about it?
Follow these tips and you’ll find 12 minutes is more than enough to have your team aligned and ready for the day. Post any questions in the comment or contact me for coaching.