Many people are working from home or have team members working remotely for the first time. It’s a big adjustment for many, and you may be wondering how to successfully lead your team from afar, especially in such uncertain times. If you’ve never had a Daily Huddle with your team, it’s a great time to give this proven technique a try. We’ve used Daily Huddles and worked with our clients to implement them for over a decade, and this simple, 15-minute meeting could be a minor-major to keep your team focused, aligned and productive in this time of rapid change.
As the COVID-19 news unfolds and more people are staying in (check out www.cdc.gov/covid-19 for the latest accurate information), some of us could be spending more time at home than we had planned this spring. While I am lucky enough to have the kind of job that I can do from home, I’ve never figured out how to do it well. On the odd snow day or sick day that I’ve attempted over the years, I’ve always felt that working from home is far less productive and more tiring than being in the office where it’s easier to focus.
If you are like me, your inbox is full of COVID-19 response letters from every vendor, doctor, airline, restaurant or business of any kind you’ve interacted with. These external communications serve their purpose, but not nearly as essential as your internal response.
No matter what business you are in, if you are the CEO or an executive leader, you're thinking about how your business is responding to (and being affected by) COVID-19. Your people are worried; everyone is worried. At the very least, your job is to lead them through this anxious and uncertain time, and it's also to prepare for the worst, just in case.
If you are like many of our clients, you may be considering adjusting travel plans for your team in the midst of the concern surrounding COVID-19. This will obviously have a big impact on most businesses, which makes it more important than ever to prioritize your team’s quarterly planning session. You’ll need to spend time thinking about the impacts to your team and your business, so even if you are canceling travel, don’t cancel your session.
As a training and on-boarding expert at Rhythm Systems, I know a lot about KPIs. Recently, I’ve also learned a lot about OKRs. Many of my newer clients have come to us for a systematic way to implement their OKRs. As I help these clients map their goals into our software, I’ve been thinking a lot about whether the KPIs I know and love have a place in this world of Objectives and Key Results. I’ve come to the conclusion that while KPIs and OKRs are different, there’s a clear benefit to having both.
Excited. Ready. Anxious. Eager. Let’s go!
Worried. Tired. Stressed. Done. Overwhelmed.
At the end of a meeting, we usually recommend closing with an exercise where everyone in the room shares one word on how they are feeling leaving the meeting. When you get to the end of your next Quarterly Planning Session, you don’t want to hear the second set of closing remarks. You want the team to leave feeling energized and ready to take on the next 90 days. Successfully achieving your strategy may hinge on it.
One of the many things I get to do in my role here at Rhythm Systems is work with our CEO Patrick Thean to coordinate and run our monthly management team meetings. This monthly meeting is a key component for our leadership team’s success; it gets us all aligned, it reinforces and enhances our company culture, it engages and re-focuses our leaders, and it is a great way for us to learn together each month.
What is a huddle meeting? The daily huddle meeting has been common practice for many companies for ages. No matter your industry (manufacturing, healthcare, technology, etc.) or size, a daily team huddle can be a good idea to increase alignment, communication, and productivity for your teams. According to an article in Inc magazine, huddles "keep companies focused on the same strategic goals, ensure timely answers to pressing questions, and enforce team accountability because everyone knows what everyone else is up to." The face to face time every 24 hours keeps team members aligned and on task.
In theory, implementing a daily meeting with your team sounds simple. Establish some ground rules and stick to them. Typically, the rules include no problem-solving or rabbit holes, start on time, end on time (no more than 15 minutes). Keeping this meeting short and sweet is essential to its effectiveness. Include the right people, and if your organization is larger or more complex, cascade this habit to your departmental teams. Customize a simple daily huddle agenda so you are sharing only the essential information. Daily huddle questions can spark the discussions needed to make sure that the team has a great day.
At Rhythm Systems, some of our team works in the office, but most of us work remotely. As an office worker with the flexibility to work remotely on occasion, I can appreciate the challenge of both settings. In the office, you’ve got the drive by “Do you have a minute?” conversations and the typical water cooler chat that can be distractions, and at home, you’ve got the temptations of family members, pets, domestic work, and your favorite TV show on Netflix vying for your attention. So, which is better? As working from home (WFH) becomes more prevalent as we work to stop the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) I thought it would be helpful to update this blog post this may be new to you, but it applies to all remote employees whether it is temporary or a more permanent situation.
Many of our clients whose fiscal year doesn't match the calendar year are about to close the books on another successful year! That means it's time for Annual Planning. Setting aside time to spend a few days with your team to work on the right plan for the new year is key to success. What does that "right plan" look like?
Our team of expert consultants has facilitated hundreds of annual planning sessions over the last decade, so we've seen all the patterns and know what it takes to create a winning plan for the year.