When huddles don't seem productive

One of the time-saving communication enhancing habits we promote is the daily huddle. It’s the regularly scheduled eight to twelve-minute stand-up meeting.

Huddles take advantage of three tools a leader has in getting better performance from a team:

  • Peer pressure
  • Collective intelligence
  • Clear communication

When Verne Harnish updated “Mastering the Rockefeller Habits” in 2014 by publishing “Scaling Up,” one of the mysteries he set out to address was the reason that firms had trouble with implementing the daily huddle.

Verne wrote: “If the daily huddle is so powerful, why do organizations start and then stop it? In a word, generalities!  As teams tell stores and share information, it’s critical that they inPaper people in circlePNG.pngclude specifics.”

Here are the traps to avoid.

A) Avoid generalities. Get specific with your stories.

B) Stick to the agenda

  • What's up? (in the next 24 hours what are you trying to make happen?)
  • What are the daily metrics?Where are you stuck? (if someone is never “stuck” they’re either not participating fully or they’re not trying to accomplish much). People should share “stucks” even when they believe no one on the team can help them.

C) Don’t let people problem-solve in the huddle (take those issues off-line).

D) Start and end the huddle on time. Don’t wait for late-comers as a matter of course.

E) Keep it snappy. Move around the circle efficiently and with rhythm.

  • Rotate the facilitator so everyone is paying attention for when it’s their turn.
  • Everyone stands.
  • Never ask: "Anyone got anything?" Instead start off and go around in three rounds, where everyone has to weigh in; (agian, What's up? Daily metric? Stucks?) Then a word for the day and adjourn



Topics: employees, staff buy in, execution, accountability, Scaling Up, Rockefeller Habits

Thomas Krekel

Written by Thomas Krekel