As with any business meeting, one’s where you gather the management team together to make key decisions on the fate of the business should be run as efficiently and effectively as possible if you want to produce quality decisions, incite active engagement from your team, and create opportunities for impactful innovations and pivot points to your current strategy.
Management huddles can be an exceptionally effective means of gathering business leaders together to arrive at quality decisions regarding your organization in a quicker and more efficient manner.
As a business leader, you should perfect how you run your management huddles, and you should enable leaders at every level of the organization to do the same.
Huddles can be scheduled on a regular or ad-hoc basis, depending on what the situation calls for, and you should feel empowered to use them whenever a decision would be better made with the input of several experts working together.
Here are five tricks you can use to best utilize management huddles in your organization.
Keep it short and sweet
You shouldn’t need more than 10-20 minutes for a huddle. Set a hard stop time from the get go, so you’re team focuses on only the most important things that need to be covered. If you open up the time too much, it’s easy for the meeting to quickly lose focus. No need for long intro’s or set up. Be brief and get straight to the point.
To distinguish management huddles from other kinds of meetings, have your team stand. Standing keeps with the theme of brevity that we are establishing. If no one has the chance to get too comfortable, they also won’t lose focus or get distracted.
In long meetings where people are sitting and have their phones/computers in front of them, it’s too easy for people to stop paying attention all together. This means information has to be repeated, the group misses out on valuable insights distracted team members could bring to the table, and generally everyone is less engaged and more likely to let things drag on longer than necessary. If you keep everyone standing, it communicates that this meeting is not meant to last any longer than it has to.
Set an agenda
Because the huddle will be short, being prepared with exactly what needs to be discussed is paramount. Send out an agenda for the meeting ahead of time, so everyone knows who is talking about what and for how long (most people shouldn’t have more than 2-3 min of information to share.) This will ensure everyone is prepared with exactly what’s expected of them (nothing more and nothing less), and it will keep the meeting on track and on time.
Assign action items
At the end of the meeting, assign each action item that was discussed to a team member or group of members. Be explicit about their responsibilities and your expectations. Then set a follow-up date/time.
After the huddle, write a brief summary of what was discussed, including the action items that were assigned and when those are to be completed. Send the summary to participants to make sure nothing discussed was forgotten or left unaccounted for. This will make sure everyone is on the same page while giving you and your team documentation of the work that needs to be done, which can be looked back on later to refresh everyone’s memories.
Remember, these meetings are meant to be quick, productive opportunities for getting management on the same page and pushing through decisions more quickly. Keep items that require more time and strategizing for other meeting settings. The idea is to make it easier to complete smaller, day-to-day action items, so they don’t get gridlocked awaiting inefficient approval processes and or stalled feedback.