Wednesday, August 26, 2015


In our practice, we believe employee involvement is key to the success and sustainability of our engagements.  We work closely with our clients and their teams in defining the current state and designing the future.  Once new solutions are put in place, we strongly encourage the team to adopt a new operating rhythm to keep the momentum going after we are gone.   One element of that operating rhythm is a daily or weekly huddle. 

There is nothing more rewarding for a consultant than to follow up with a client and learn that what you worked on together is fully in place, and making a difference. 

Recently, I was talking with a client who said they put team huddles in place based on our recommendation.  The team implemented weekly huddles led by rotating team members.  The huddles have improved communication and provided clarity and focus for the team.  In addition, they have elevated the team’s unity and provided the opportunity for consistent recognition, support and direction. 

When we put the huddles in place, we aligned on a set of ground rules:
  • Hold them at the same time, same place and start on time (consider odd times – 8:32 – subtly influences the huddle pace,  11:45 AM – assumes everyone is ready for lunch at noon)
  • Stand up for the meeting – no chairs
  • Keep it quick … 15 minutes MAX
  • Face-to-face or virtually or a combination of both
  • Everybody speaks to their part of the team
  • Full attendance is expected … if you miss the huddle, it is your job to figure out what you missed
  • Cater to your goals and challenges … the more personalized, the more compelling

Some of the elements to include on the huddle agenda are:
  • Company or customer news
  • Metrics … quick review of dashboard
  • Today’s focus … each team member shares one critical focus area for the day
  • Where we are stuck or struggling … a time to ask for help (not to actually help – that happens after the huddle … “problem solving is forbidden”)
  •  A-Ha’s … a discovery, a highlight, feedback
  • Gratitude … everyone has a chance to share something they’re grateful for or to thank someone
For this team, huddles have replaced the need for staff meetings held after hours, which not only has improved the team’s engagement but reduced costs as well.