Huddles Aren’t Just for Football Players: How Entrepreneurs Can Leverage Brief, Daily Meetings

Every day at 10:55am, everyone at the Junktion (the head office for O2E Brands the company group for 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, WOW 1 DAY PAINTING, You Move Me, and Shack Shine) stops what they’re doing and comes together for a 7-minute stand-up meeting called Huddle.

Huddle connects everyone, provides transparency into our business, and makes us a stronger team. Plus, it cuts down on a LOT of unnecessary emails and unproductive meetings. The best part? Any business owner can do it.

Entrepreneur Verne Harnish inspired me to start Huddle at 1-800-GOT-JUNK? many years ago and now it’s an essential part of our corporate culture.

Check out this video of Huddle to see it in action. I invite you to copy our formula, or develop your own – and watch your business grow.

1: Good News

Huddle starts promptly at 10:55 a.m. and is kept at seven minutes. We chose seven minutes so everyone makes every second count. Once everyone’s arrived, the moderator (who changes every day) asks the crowd for good news.

Starting with good news is important – it sets the tone for Huddle and ultimately, for the rest of the day. Even when the recession hit and we had to shut down locations, there were still some positive things to highlight Good news keeps us motivated as a team, even if times are tough.

We always clap good news to keep the energy high.

2: Numbers

Our key metrics are online visitors, sales calls completed, and jobs completed. Every day at Huddle, we share these numbers to see if we’re hitting our goals. It’s a type of open book management developed by Jack Stack, and it helps everyone understand how they can make decisions that impact our business.

3: In the News

Each department is responsible for giving a ninety-second update at Huddle on a rotating basis. Discussing projects and milestones breaks down silos and aligns us on our goals. The glimpse into other departments also enables collaboration across the organization.

4: Missing Systems + Opportunities

This might be the most important part of Huddle. Missing systems and opportunities is a chance for anyone to mention things that are broken, processes that could be better, and ask questions of managers and directors if necessary. It’s totally open – we’ve had call center agents ask our COO tough questions, for example. The family-dinner style format keeps us all accountable.

5: The Cheer

At 11:02 a.m., we end on a cheer. It doesn’t have to be fancy – you can reiterate good news, congratulate someone on a project, or just have everyone sing some song lyrics. The cheer gets everyone smiling and motivated for the rest of the day.

Brian Scudamore is an EO Vancouver member, and founder and CEO of O2E Brands.

Categories: Best Practices Business/Finance Tips Company Culture general Management Productivity

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