A few years ago I had the opportunity to attend a conference hosted by an organization that facilitates CEO peer groups. One of the speakers shared an outstanding overview of how he utilizes Lean Concepts to keep both himself and his organization on track and working on what is both Urgent and Important.
At one point he said, “The best thing I learned from being part of this group is the Daily Huddle…that opportunity at the beginning of the day to get the key employees on the same page and focused.” He then asked the crowd…”How many of you have Daily Huddles with your Team?” Four, maybe five hands went up throughout a crowd of over four hundred.
What a disappointing reflection on leadership in today’s organizations! How can this happen?
There are two types of activities that take place in businesses; the normal Day-to-Day Activities just to keep the lights on and the Activities that move the organization forward. Unfortunately, managers often get sucked into the Day-to-Day Whirlwind of managing the business and lose the focus of looking at Longer-Term Improvements.
They arrive at the office with a plan but then the phone rings and they are swept off course. The common complaint we hear is…”we don’t have time!”
Change is hard and breaking out of the cycle requires commitment to take the first step. I initiated a Weekly Huddle with a client nine months ago and the results have been outstanding as communication improved.
The format we use is very simple:
- Review a Dashboard of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) like month-to-date shipments and past due orders to get everyone on the same page.
- Ask each employee to share a problem or success they experienced in the past week to focus the team on identifying and solving problems.
- Discuss one key product, what makes it unique and its application with customers to improve product knowledge.
Conversations cause clarity. Clarity drives actions. Actions produce results. An M.I.T. study found that 50% of the difference between high-performing teams and low-performing teams is the Quality of Communication. However, too many organizations don’t create enough opportunities for communication to even take place. Are there opportunities to commit to bringing your Team together and start a conversation about what is Urgent and Important?
Are you moving your organization forward?