The Huddle

American sports utilise the Huddle extensively: the action is interrupted by meetings of the participants to review and implement strategy. For example, in basketball there is the time out and in American football the quarterback calls a huddle pretty much before every play. In golf the player and caddie huddle all over the course. The business Huddle is an extension of this concept.

Key Points for Effective Huddles in the workplace:

  • Meetings are short, no more than 15 mins
  • Stand, don’t sit
  • Timing is up to you – first thing, or later in the morning when all are in. eg. 11.45am
  • Huddle is high priority
  • Everyone must speak. Who first? Vary it.
  • It is not an interrogation – it is a communication tool
  • Honesty is critical
  • Stick to facts not opinions
  • Huddle time is NOT for problem solving. Identifying yes, but not for solving
  • What to share:
  • Project updates
  • Client updates
  • Wins – celebrated
  • Roadblocks
  • Individual priorities for the day
  • What you achieved yesterday
  • Review couple of team or company metrics

 Not all these are part of every huddle, but the list provides examples to get it flowing

  • Problems identified are flagged for follow up meetings
  • Discussions are shut down – this is reporting only
  • Off site team members can join via skype – as it is NOT a discussion they can make their contribution and also hear from others

How do you know if Huddling is working for you? (Give it six months at least):

  • Your KPI metrics will improve: check them
  • Your team awareness of strategy and projects and how they fit together will improve
  • Your leadership will improve as you have a clearer grasp of all the elements
  • Stuff gets done on time, accurately and profitably