In his book, Scaling Up, Verne Harnish covers four different types of meetings every organisation should regularly have to address communication challenges and make important decisions for scaling up the organisation.
Before we dive deeper into the Daily Huddle, let’s understand the importance of establishing these meetings as the most important routine your team follows.
Here’s why setting up these four different types of meetings is crucial to scale up your organisation in a healthy manner:
Each of the four types of meetings mentioned has its own purpose and style. Yet, the most important of all these meetings is not the “big meetings”, but the short, and powerful, Daily Huddle.
Daily huddles are an absolute necessity as you scale the company.
Highly successful leaders, including John D. Rockefeller and Steve Jobs, implemented the daily huddle to continuously scale their business from success to success.
It is also an important habit in 10 Rockefeller Habits checklist. The daily huddle tracks progress and brings out sticking points that are blocking your execution.
This will help avoid minor train wrecks and quickly take advantage of unforeseen opportunities.
The daily huddle can save everyone an hour or so of needless email updates and unnecessary interruptions.
Finally, issues that emerge from daily huddles drive the main topics for the weekly meeting.
Today, tens of thousands of companies around the world have discovered the freedom and power that comes from implementing this simple rhythm.
One example is the Ritz-Carlton, which gathers about 80 people at their headquarters for a 10-minute daily huddle to receive updates from Boston to Bali. Meanwhile, all 35,000 Ritz-Carlton employees participate in some kind of daily huddle at their local hotels.
Follow this 6-part guideline to masterfully execute the daily huddle in your organisation and reap the rewards.
Part 1: Timing – Choose whatever time best fits the rhythm of your business. Make sure you always start the meeting on time, whether everyone is present or not.
Part 2: Setting – Meet wherever you want, but stand up or perch on stools. It will help keep the meeting short. Gathering in the leader’s office makes it more convenient for him or her.
Part 3: Who Attends – The general rule is to have more people in fewer meetings, rather than fewer people in more meetings. That’s true even if only 10 to 15 participants do most of the sharing.
Part 4: Frequency – In general, frontline employees will be in only one Daily Huddle, and anyone in management will be in two: one with their direct reports and one with their peers and leader.
Part 5: Who Runs the Meeting – Pick someone who is naturally structured to keep meetings running on time.
Part 6: The Agenda – The agenda covers three things and you should spend no more than five minutes per item:
In the first five minutes, each attendee spends a few seconds sharing – very specifically – what’s up in the next 24 hours. These should ONLY relate to key activities, meetings, decisions, etc.
The next five minutes are then spent verbalising the daily metrics your company monitors. Look for patterns and trends which can give you a jump on the competition and on your own challenges.
The last five minutes is the most important agenda item. Here, members of your team bring up constraints and concerns that could prevent them from having a great next 24 hours.
The brutal facts need to be shared, and the leader needs to see the patterns of “stucks” to understand what underlying issues must be addressed.
Here are some tips to make the most out of your daily huddles:
Here are some things to avoid:
With the Daily Huddle set in motion in synchrony with the weekly, monthly and annual meetings, you’ll have created a meeting rhythm which essentially is the heartbeat of your organisation. Those who pulse faster, grow faster.
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I hope you have enjoyed these insights. Have a great week and stay growth-focused!