While doing research to start Noteworthy Meetings (which is now Prowess Project), I was devouring all material possible on hosting the “perfect meeting”. Good news is there is no such thing. Bad news there is no such thing.
I first picked up Death by Meeting by Patrick Lencioni. That book had been recommended to me a MILLION times but I’d never sat down to read it. It’s written as a fable which makes for easy, fun reading. As for takeaways, the one that rang truest to me was the power of the Daily Huddle.
Daily Huddle, it’s a 10 – 15 min standup meeting each morning to regroup on priorities, talk about progress/roadblocks and immediate next steps. I’d heard of the concept before but honestly, it sounded like a pain. One, because I hate meetings, and two, because I really hate recurring meetings “just because”. Boy, could I not have been more wrong.
Prowess Project is just two people right now, myself, and Leah Steinkirch, our Chief Mom Officer. A few weeks ago, we were in the process of building the website, outlining the facilitator certification and nailing down messaging. Hands down, there is no other way we would have gotten that all complete without our daily huddles. At 9:15am, Monday through Friday, I call Leah. It’s nothing formal, just a:
Hey, whats up? Hahaha, your daughter actually said that? Oh my god, please tell me you’re writing this stuff down for future blog posts. Anyway, how’s XYZ? Good? Ok, awesome. Need anything else, hit me up on Slack. Ok, cool. Bye!
After a month of daily huddles, here are my tips:
- Set a time limit – Goal is for these calls to be 10 mins long, 15 tops. That’s why when you’re at a physical office, it’s best to do these standing. If there is a topic that is going to take more than 10 mins to chat through, schedule a one-off with ONLY the appropriate people and move on to the next topic.
- Do not miss – No, we don’t chat every day at 9:15am on-the-dot, but between 9:14 and 9:45am, Leah will definitely hear from me. Even last Friday when I was taking the day off, right or wrong, I still called.
- It’s not all business – Don’t overthink it. It doesn’t have to be rigid. It doesn’t have to be only about the business. It’s critical that Leah and I consider each other friends as well as colleagues. I want to hear about her super buff, party-going trainer who blares Travis Scott and like it or not, she hears about my spoiled bulldog who sleeps on my head, which I allow, just so he is comfy – even though, I definitely am not.
Daily Huddles are here to stay. They are the lifeblood of our progress. Not only did we complete our goal of getting the website up and running but we also managed to crank out two new collateral pieces for an upcoming event. This was only possible because we reduced the wait time from back and forth emails and routinely reviewed the priorities for the given week.
I highly encourage you all to give Daily Huddles a try, and post in the comments to let me know how it goes.
Until next time,
PS – I’m flying through Lencioni’s next book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team now. Stay tuned for my thoughts.