When starting with a new company operating system, such as Scaling Up, there are plenty of methods and strategies you can adopt, but I've found one surprisingly simple practice to be incredibly effective in navigating such projects - The Daily Huddle. It's an 11-minute meeting, held four times a week. You might be thinking, "Surely, it can't be that simple." Well, let me explain how it works.
Just imagine if you could read the headlines of 100 major US city newspapers every day. Even without delving into the articles, the headlines alone would give you a pretty good picture of what's happening nationwide. That's precisely what the Daily Huddle aims to achieve within your organization. It's a quick snapshot, an overview of the "headlines" within your company.
Implementing the Daily Huddle comes down to three critical practices:
First Practice: Start and end on time. Everyone convenes at a set time, and a simple question, "What's up?" kicks off the discussion. Each participant shares their most crucial task for the day, nothing more, nothing less.
Second Practice: Clarity is key. When sharing their central task, everyone should be explicit. For example, instead of saying, "Working on the website," one could specify, "Rewriting and uploading the bios of our three new hires by end of day."
Next comes a quick review of key metrics, just a handful of indicators that give a daily status of the business's health. Regular monitoring can highlight patterns that may otherwise be overlooked.
Third Practice: See the value in repetition. While it might seem monotonous, repeating this process can offer a unique insight into the business. This format also allows for a round of 'stucks', which are issues that someone is finding challenging to solve. If someone else can help, they follow up after the huddle.
Now, you might be wondering, what are the benefits of this practice?
- It gives a leader insight into how team members prioritize their tasks, providing an understanding of the alignment with overall business goals.
- It creates a culture of thoughtful prioritization, pushing team members to focus on the most critical tasks.
- It ensures all critical information is shared consistently, mitigating the risk of misunderstandings or missed updates.
- It promotes cross-functional problem-solving, helping to break down silos.
Implementing the Daily Huddle is simpler than it might seem, and its impact can be substantial. Don't take my word for it, though. I invite you to try it for a couple of weeks, following these principles, and see the difference it makes in your organization's day-to-day operations. It's quite possible that you'll find this 11-minute meeting to be an unexpected yet effective tool in your leadership toolbox.