Ann Scott, Presley and Partners Chartered Professional Accountants
Huddle has taken on a new meaning in our office. Here’s how we do it: Every morning at 9.18am, our whole team gathers for a short stand-up meeting – a huddle. Just like breakfast or a morning run, it gets us off on the right foot.
We aren’t the only company to do this. Morning team meetings are increasingly popular in the business world. We can trace the origins of the huddle back to John D Rockefeller, who used his morning walk to the office with his management team to plan their day.
A short, stand-up morning meeting can help a business in many ways. Not only does it set the tone for the day, it can help your team identify and stay focused on what is truly important. It can also help you avoid the many daily stumbles, errors and miscommunications that can hinder you from reaching your goals.
Here’s how you can implement the huddle in your office.
Have an agenda. This meeting shouldn’t be just for coffee and chat. In our office, we start with the good news – setting a positive tone can really boost morale. Is it anyone’s birthday? Do we have something to celebrate – a new account or client perhaps?
Then, swing into “what’s up” with each “to-do” super specific. This provides an opportunity for others to contribute. For example, if I have a meeting with Client A, and a colleague has got something else for them, we can coordinate to make sure it’s there at the meeting. This also lets us identify opportunities for growing the business, and act on them.
Next look at the daily metrics specific to your company. For us, February is T4 and T5 time. Each day in the huddle, we review how many are at each stage in the process and a running total of how many are still to go. The result? This year we have gotten much more done much earlier, with less last minute stress.
Lastly find the red flags. Check with team members: Where are you stuck? What’s that pebble in your shoe? For example, we switched to a new tax program this year – and we had some install issues. Although talking about it was painful, we could brainstorm solutions on the fly, share our problems and reassure each other. Without the meeting, our irritating issues might have escalated into full-blown failure.
Start and end on time. Keep the meeting snappy – no more than 15 minutes – so no one falls asleep or resents having to waste time. Set an alarm so you don’t go over. When it rings – everyone leaves to go out and attack their day!
Ann Scott is a FCPA, FCA, business advisor and a partner with Presley & Partners, Chartered Professional Accountants. She can be reached at 250.338.1394 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.