This month we have all been reflecting on the Rockefeller Habits Checklist. One of the most important elements is establishing a communication rhythm that moves information through the organization accurately and quickly.
Here are some best practices in doing just that:
- Make sure it makes sense. Be deliberate about setting a rhythm that makes sense for your team. Take into account the needs of the business first. When are phones the busiest? When are weekly numbers just getting to everyone? What days do most people travel or take vacation? Set yourself up with meeting rhythms that are easy to keep.
- Consistency is key. Assign an owner to each meeting. If that person can't facilitate, they should make sure the meeting is covered by someone else (or set up a schedule of shared facilitation!). There will be days when only 3 people are able to make Huddle, but it should still happen. And, if someone can't make a meeting, the expectation should be set that they send information to the facilitator via email in advance.
- Daily Huddles. Daily doesn't have to mean daily. For example, if your Teams have their weekly meetings on Friday and your Executive Team has their weekly meeting on Monday, there is no need to be redundant on those days. Set Daily Huddles for Tuesday through Thursday only.
- Weekly Meetings. The Executive Team and each functional Team should set a weekly meeting schedule and assign an owner to it. For information to flow correctly, the functional Teams should have their weekly meetings first (Monday morning, for example) and the Executive Team meeting should follow (Monday afternoon, for example).
- Strategic Thinking. The Executive Team should establish a regular rhythm for getting together for the sole purpose of Strategic Thinking. Again, someone should own this meeting and the agenda should reflect what you all need to do to work on the business. Perhaps you are working on your Brand Promise or BHAG. This work takes time, and you need to keep clicking your flywheel.
- Annual and Quarterly Planning. Establish Annual and Quarterly Planning habits for the Executive Team and each functional Group. The flow of this is the reverse of the weekly meeting sequence. The Executive Team should meet first to determine the Annual/Quarterly Plan for the Company. Following that session, the functional Teams should have their session to learn the Company Plan and determine the plan for their Team. This will ensure proper alignment.