Who likes long meetings?  Not me.

Who likes long, boring meetings? No one!

As a business grows, NIMBLE communication and connectivity become essential in keeping culture strong – when delivered pain-free.

There’s a solution to long, boring meetings. It is a short, sharp meeting. I call it a ‘To the Point’ huddle.

The catch is that it has to be done EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

Taking time out to focus and re-energise

The daily huddle is a bit like a time-out in a basketball game: the team comes together for a short time to discuss the next move.

In basketball, that means deciding who will do what and when – each player has a role to fill – and then the team leaves the huddle with an extra oomph of energy.

Do you have to hug or high five the person next to you? No! (although you can if you really want!)

To the Point huddles – the (not so) secret sauce:

  • 5-7 people
  • Keep it short. (10-12 minutes is ideal)
  • A memorable starting time, like 10.05am.
  • Stand (don’t sit)
  • Share daily priorities (aligned with business vision)
  • Raise any challenges/roadblocks
  • Confirm who is doing what by when
  • Wrap up and get on with the day.

Pulsing faster by committing a regular meeting rhythm that everybody is enthused and energised by is one of the keys to growth.

Having insisted upon a regular huddle for The Physio Co support team since 2009 (without too much objection), I can confidently say that it has been one of the most valuable rituals we have created and had the discipline to stick to.

Improvements in teamwork, communication, accountability, energy, growth and profits have all occurred in the eight years since starting our 12-minute daily ‘To the Point’ huddle.

Set the ball rolling to end boring communication

Appoint a ‘captain’ to lead the charge (get team to the meeting on time and stay on track and moving through the agenda)

Decorate the space, or the room, with:

  • Your purpose, values and vision
  • Whiteboards with numbers to clearly map out the progress – targets today, this week, this month and this year, etc.
  • a ‘Where Are You Stuck? board’

The Agenda – that you WILL actually get to the end of

  1. Big warm positive welcome
  2. Any visitors/changes in the office/team
  3. One-minute fun, light-hearted, energiser (short joke, quick game/quiz, yoga pose, etc.)
  4. Each of the 5-7 team members share their top three actionable and clear priorities for the day, bringing the business vision one step closer
  5. ‘Department Spotlight’: one day per week, each person has five minutes to share what’s happening in their space – including a story of how a core value has been lived
  6. ‘Where Are You Stuck?’ A chance to say ‘I am blocked – there’s a system we need to change or build’ – it goes on the board with the initials of the person responsible for resolving the problem and their deadline
  7. A one-minute update on team members – one different person every day – so as to be up to date with what is happening in the world of individual staffers (holidays, problems, wins, etc.)

(This is based on the three-step agenda that Verne Harnish describes in Mastering the Rockefeller Habits).

One year when I was on leave from The Physio Co, the three remaining support team members decided that over the two-week Christmas/New Year period, it was so quiet and so little was happening that they did not need to have a daily huddle.

But by around 11am on the second day, one of the guys said, “I feel like I don’t know what is going on around here. We need our huddle!”

The other two people felt the same and, so they had the huddle. That very moment made us realise that we definitely need a regular huddle.

In summary – over the course of 12 minutes

  • personal priorities (aligned to the future of the business) have been shared
  • everybody is up to date with what people are working on
  • all systems have been checked – or at least identified where broken
  • everybody is connected, communicating and working towards the business vision

I'm confident you'll be hooked in no time!