For the BEST 15 minutes in the workday, Huddle.

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving holiday!

We certainly did. The four-day Thanksgiving weekend is somewhat predictable for us ”“ and very happily so ”“ centered on 3 F’s and a G: Gratitude, with scoops of it for Family, Food, and Football.

I have a theory about the winning teams in the weekend’s football match-ups. Those who are more savvy in all the nuances of the game don’t necessarily agree with me on this, but though I understand the strategy with no-huddle offensive drives, I believe that good huddles win games. It just doesn’t strike me as smart or even logical, that choosing no-huddle to shorten perceptive reaction time in your opponent is a better decision than using the time to optimally communicate with your own team.

Huddles make the difference. And nowhere is this more true than at work.

You know of my D5M as the Daily 5 Minutes ®. Another daily staple in the managed with Aloha workplace is the D15M, or daily 15 minutes used for the Morning Huddle. It’s a smart practice for talking right story, and thankfully, it is catching on more and more in workplaces everywhere:

“Every weekday at 9:30 a.m. sharp, the executive team at Bishop-Wisecarver, a Pittsburg, California, manufacturing company, files into the boardroom. They stand around the table; no sitting allowed. Then rat-a-tat-tat–each fires off a brief synopsis of the items on his or her frontmost burner. If the controller reports trouble with a vendor, president Pamela Kan promises to intercede. If the sales director says a client has requested a custom product, the team quickly decides whether it’s worth pursuing. Ten minutes later all are back in the office armed with the information necessary to barrel efficiently through their days.

Bishop-Wisecarver is one of many companies embracing daily micromeetings–affectionately called “huddles” or “check-ins”–as a way to keep everyone moving in sync.”

Read the rest of this article by Leigh Buchanan at The Art of the Huddle [If you hate pop-ups, be sure your blocker is on before you click in]. Buchanan profiles “how five CEOs use a meeting a day to keep chaos away,” calling them

  1. The team builder
  2. The coordinator
  3. The efficiency expert
  4. The motivator
  5. The strategic planner

Take their lead in your workplace. There is so much to be gained, and so much otherwise-wasted time to be saved in these huddles. These were some of the take-aways Buchanan took from her profiles, calling them “huddle hints.”

  • From the Team Builder: No one notifies participants that the meeting is starting. Regular, prompt attendance is “another cultural flusher,” says Kan. “If someone consistently doesn’t show up, the group sees him as not wanting to be part of the process.”
  • From the Coordinator: Halasnik holds his 15-minute meetings at 11:45 a.m. “People are always hungry then so they won’t let me drag things out,” he says.
  • From the Efficiency Expert: Citizant’s huddles commence at 8:43 a.m. The odd time gets people thinking in increments of minutes and subtly influences the meetings’ pace, says Roberts. A musical clip that plays on employees’ computer speakers is the cue that it’s time to gather.
  • From the Motivator: Twenty employees–mostly rank-and-filers–trained as “huddle masters” take turns leading the sessions.
  • From the Strategic Planner: Brault signed on to a conference-call service so he doesn’t waste time connecting people traveling for business. He has also asked employees with BlackBerrys to set meeting alarms.

Share more examples with our Ho‘ohana Community:

How do you huddle?

From the Talking Story Archives: The Generosity of the Huddle.
An excerpt:

Huddles are generous because players are acknowledged, valued, and trusted. It’s a generosity they thrive on.

If you’re a player on the sidelines, chances are you are aching inside for the coach to look your way and send you out on the field to join in. Think of the value of Kākou: inclusiveness, and the Language of We. It’s a privilege to be included, and it’s an affirmation of the talent, energy, and team-player reputation you have.


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