Strategy

6th February 2014

What’s Up? by Ian Kinnery

If you can implement daily huddles at all levels in your business I can guarantee that communication and focus will dramatically increase.

A daily huddle is a 7 to 12 minute focussed meeting of a workgroup.

If I ran a restaurant that opened at say 7.30, it would make sense to me to have all of the team start 15 to 30 minutes before that to get ready for opening and some of that time would be spent in a huddle so we could inform each other of important bits of information; who was booked, how many portions of the special we had, what the objectives were and what challenges we had, all in advance of “showtime”. That way we would avoid the embarrassment of not knowing that we only had 3 rump steaks left before we accepted an order for 5.

The same discipline will work at all levels in all businesses.

Best practice suggests that there are three elements of the daily huddle.

• What’s up?
• Numbers
• Where am I stuck?

The huddle is best done standing up; ideally around the relevant scoreboard- you do have them don’t you? – to maintain the energy and urgency. It is often best if the boss doesn’t lead the huddle.

What’s up? Compels each team member in turn to say what his or her main objectives for today are and what the successes of yesterday were. The importance here is that the team member is making a commitment to his or her colleagues and reporting to those colleagues about their numbers, their scores. This is a much more powerful dynamic than reporting to the boss or the company. Each member will do that quickly and in turn.

In our daily huddles we don’t mention stuff that is in the diary. Those things are the day job. We commit only to things that we know will “move the needle”, sales made, appointments made, opportunities discovered. The increased focus on the important stuff is dramatically effective.

Where am I stuck? Points out the challenges. “I need the dates from Jim so I can confirm the appointment with Fred”, “the airline is broken on bay 3”, highlights anything that may impede us hitting today’s objectives. It is best not to try to find solutions during the huddle unless they are immediately obvious but to agree to take it offline, or it will destroy the energy and the impetus. “You will have it by 9.15” or “thanks I will see to it that it gets fixed today” will maintain the focus and energy.

Imagine, were you to do that insistently, consistently and persistently every day for a month how your business might transform. “No-one told me that” becomes a thing of the past. Focus and commitment reach new heights. The meetings will become shorter and more energetic and the FQ of the business will rise. (FQ= Fun Quotient) as people become more focussed on the wins every day.

Like so many success habits it is neither difficult or rocket science but once you know it, rather obvious and yet uncommon practice.