Every morning at 9.30am, the team of Big Blue Digital gather in the centre of the office – by the video conferencing screens – and share top priorities, roadblocks and points of collaboration for the day. Sitting is not allowed – unless you’re offsite and bound by the location of your camera.

We call these meetings ‘stand-ups’, but you might know them as huddles, or scrums, one of the key Rockefeller Habits improving team communication and productivity.

By giving everyone a quick run-down on what’s going on, you’ll all keep the same big picture strategic goals in mind, and resist the temptation to get bogged down in the little stuff.

The rules

  • They start on time
  • They last 15 minutes
  • You don’t problem solve (but you can raise roadblocks to aid problem solving)

So, how do you huddle?

The best thing about huddles is, outside of those rules, there are no rules.

Choose who, when and where

Some offices have team based huddles. Some just scrum with their leadership team. We have a full office huddle, and then separate huddles for major projects with the key people dedicated to that work.

The when and where is also up for grabs. The idea is to keep people away from their desks, phones, or anything else that might distract them. Huddles are a time for laser sharp focus…create an environment for that to happen. Our morning huddles are great because, happening so early on, they help the team refocus each day. But afternoons might work for your team.

Set the parameters

Getting used to huddles, when you or your team have never done them before, can be a real culture shock.

All of a sudden you need to declare exactly where you’re at and what’s coming up. The language of huddles tends to be direct and action focused, and some people can feel intimidated by the immediacy, transparency and accountability. How you communicate the purpose of a huddle and steer people to stick to that purpose is important. Don’t be afraid to remind people of the purpose at the start of each huddle, or when/if you see focus slipping.

Get creative

I came to love my morning huddle in a past workplace where we’d wear bunny and mouse ears to show we were “all ears”, and start with an intention and end with a quote or thought for the day. It was a quick way for each team leader to catch up with their team’s progress, and a place we could share our roadblocks and invite feedback or suggestions to overcome these at a later time.

Bunny ears would not fly in every workplace – and even in that office each team would bring their own style to their huddle. I’m pretty sure one team incorporated problem solving games to get their brains working.

The important thing is to keep the purpose the same.

Open channels of communication

Maintain accountability

Share and allocate resources

Define priorities.Happy huddling!

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