This is one post about company productivity. Read about the Ivy Lee method for more.
I grew up playing sports in high school – specifically, football. I loved being on the field with my team during a game. To me, there's no feeling like it. Eleven guys perfectly coordinated to line up on the field. Then the quarterback snaps the football and chaos ensues. Or does it?
Each team member begins to move with purposeful individual actions in order to complete the team’s goal. Some are removing obstacles while others are going downfield to catch a pass. Then the play stops, everyone resets, and they do it again.
How does each member of the team always know what each other member is going to do? How can they know how to best support each other?
The team huddle.
The huddle is where the team communicates and develops a plan to work toward a shared goal. Even though the conversation is greatly abbreviated in a huddle, when the leader calls a play, he's telling each member of the team what he needs them to do, and likewise, what he’s going to do for them.
Companies all over the Fortune 500 list use regularly scheduled huddles in their offices. And, so do we at Axia Public Relations.
At Axia, our huddles are short, and we rapidly cover these four rounds:
- How are you (and your family)?
- What’s your top accomplishment since our last huddle?
- What are your 1-6 “must-dos” for today (following the Ivy Lee method)?
- What roadblocks are you facing?
It’s OK to only have one “must-do,” as these should only be the critical tasks that you must complete before leaving for the day.
A roadblock is an opportunity for leadership or colleagues to step in and help you solve obstacles based on their experience, connections, and available tools.
Daily office huddles can build and promote healthy teams. By discussing successes, roadblocks, and priorities, team members build accountability with each other. Understanding how and what other team members are working on will encourage interactions that keep the best interest of all parties at the forefront.
Huddles can also be instrumental in decreasing problem response time. By opening a platform daily for team members to discuss roadblocks, other team members begin thinking of solutions, instead of waiting until the weekly meeting, which could be days away.
There are six main characteristics to a work huddle:
- Stand up. This is a high-energy, fast-moving event. There's no need to get comfortable; we're going to talk and then go accomplish goals.
- Keep it quick. The play clock is ticking, so to speak. Keep the meetings around 10–15 minutes.
- Stay on target. In a football huddle, there's no time for small talk or discussing possible solutions to a problem. State the problems during the huddle and develop solutions on the sideline.
- Everyone speaks. Everyone in your office is working hard on something, right? So, it makes sense that each person should have something to contribute.
- Start on time: If your 15-minute meeting starts five minutes late, you've added a 33% increase to the total time allocated for the meeting.
- Have fun. On my football team, coach always said, “Remember, while this is just a game, don’t let that take away from the fact that we want a championship.” Even though your team isn't playing a sport, you can still make it fun while reaching goals. Try opening with a short brain game or ending the meeting with an inspirational quote.
Now, huddle up your team and prepare to crush your goals.
Justin Rigdon is an PR professional at Axia Public Relations. He is an Air Force veteran and graduated from University of North Florida with a Bachelor of Science in communication and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology. Follow him on Twitter @justinrigdon.