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Articles > Daily Huddle Question #91 3-29-09

One thing that I’ve noticed is there doesn’t seem to be a place in the meeting formats for passing on information. Like on Friday I spent 5+ minutes talking about 2 phone conversations I had with Toro and MIC. It was information that I thought all the managers needed to know about and sometimes other managers have similar information. So, when & how do we pass on information?

Daily Huddles come in a variety of formats, as varied as the companies that use them. While we have a recommended version for how Daily Huddles are structured, we also know that each company may have exceptions to what works based on the nuances of their business. We strongly urge that our suggested format is observed as much as possible. The most important the rules: keep it under 15 minutes and have everyone stand-up. The critical function for daily huddles communication. If you are achieve, that no matter what your structure, keep your meetings to 15 minutes or less, then your Daily Huddle is working.

 With this clients specific question I got input from Verne Harnish, “The 5+ minutes of info you shared would fall under “what’s up” and the importance of sharing specifics vs. generalities as in “had a call with Toro and MIC” vs. “I had a call with Toro and MIC and here’s the quick update” – though not something you want to do every day and you wouldn’t want to take 20 minutes to give the update, this kind of information sharing is exactly what we want to have happen during the “what’s up”
Granted, you’re supposed to be looking ahead, so you might have mentioned the day before that you were going to be having these two calls and the topics, so your team was aware.  And then given the importance, it’s fine to give them the specific update/learning.
What’s most important is that you don’t go more than 15 minutes total.  Just means everyone needs to speed up the rest of the agenda or you skip something one day to give the other agenda item more time.”
Communication and accountability should be the driving impact of your daily huddles. If you’re using the One Page Strategic Plan then you are already succeeding in getting everyone in your business on the same page. The intention of the Daily Huddles is for each day the entire business should be staying in touch on top issues and priorities, driving decision-making and accountability. 
At times Daily Huddles will seem superfluous, as if nothing has changed and the meetings are not having an impact. If that is the case then you may be in a recovery mode or your business may be suffering from too low goal setting or priorities. As Verne mentions in Mastering the Rockefeller Habits, anyone who is working effectively runs into obstacles and challenges which prevent them at times from getting things done. If you’re people are always claiming to be free from challenges it suggests that they are setting to low goals or simply aren’t driven or motivated sufficiently to get things done for your business. 
The impact of your staff telling you that the Daily Huddles are not achieving anything or revealing any relevant information may provide a more serious insight into your business than you might imagine. Your staff indicating that the daily huddles are not working may be the first leading indicator that your business is headed for trouble. If not information or challenges are being discussed that your business maybe in a state of complacency or worse yet decline. Either will require some serious work to change and navigate. The sooner you are aware and make necessary adjustments the sooner you can prevent your business from heading toward an economic crisis. 
Think about it, as a business person, aren’t you intuitively aware of when your business is lacking something? Wouldn’t you like to be aware of this sooner? Your Daily Huddles can be your first line of defense to prevent the business from slipping into a slow, unaware decline.   You as the leader of your business are paid most for your ability to predict and delegate. Daily Huddles when they are run correctly can be your conduit to recognizing when your business needs the proper injection of change and guidance which can prevent it from hurtling toward oblivion.
NOTE:  there is a 10 minute section on the weekly meeting agenda when the team is to receive updates on what you’ve learned from customers and employees that week – and too many companies skip this.  This is the perfect time to share the Toro and MIC conversations if it could wait a few days.  It’s your call.  We give the agendas as guidelines.

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