Before a game, every successful sports team starts with a huddle. Often the team will break into a huddle throughout the game as well. The purpose of this is to re-group, remind everyone of the central mission and dictate the steps that need to be taken to be successful. In business, we aim to do the same thing but instead of a quick re-group, we have a painfully long and drawn-out meeting.
Many businesses hold weekly or daily meetings, but most of these meetings involve more small talk than actual business. Maybe 15 minutes of important dialogue goes on for each hour of a meeting.
So enough with the distractions; it’s time to get serious and head for the huddle.
Why Huddles Work
Holding morning huddles instead of meetings has become more common in recent years. Much more can be accomplished throughout the day when you skip the coffee-drinking, slouched-seated, full-blown meeting.
If you decide to hold a morning or mid-day huddle, make sure to hold it at the same time each day and have every employee come into the boardroom ready to share one minute’s worth of news. They can provide updates on what they are working on, what their plans are, what they need, etc.
By the time each person has taken one minute to go around the huddle and bring everyone up to speed, the team knows what is going on and the direction they are taking. If someone needs to speak further to someone else about an issue, they can do so after the huddle is over. No need to hold up the whole team for such a thing.
Laying the Ground Rules
You are the coach. Don’t feel bad about implementing a daily huddle and laying down some ground rules to go with it. After all, if everyone is on the same page and aware of what is going on, the company will have a better chance of scoring.
Determine what you want your huddle to look like and what you want out of it. Many people opt for the “standing only” huddle, which is the ideal way to run it because it keeps people from getting too comfy. If you are standing, you are more likely to wrap up the huddle quickly and get back to your office. (Understandably, not everyone can stand through a huddle, but those who are able should try.)
Pay attention to the results. Not only will you be wasting less of your employees’ time, but they will be forced to really think about their work goals each day in order to share them with the group.
Mike Michalowicz is the Author of the business cult-classic, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur and is a columnist for the Wall Street Journal. Michalowicz has built three multi-million dollar companies, is a frequent expert guest on MSNBC, CNBC, ABC and other television networks, and is a nationally renowned speaker. His website is http://www.ToiletPaperEntrepreneur.com and his book is available at Amazon.com and all major book stores.