Is your daily huddle off track? Critical startup skills & How to structure presentations to ensure effective decision making
7 August 2022 Newsletter
“If you can’t control prices you must control expenses” – Jim Collins
Hope you’re Thriving!
It’s been a good week with a couple of strategic planning workshops, meetings and working on the business.
You know when you remember what, but not where you heard it? Well, this week, somewhere, something prompted me to think more about ineffective meetings. But I can’t remember where. So if you prompted me to think about that, my credit to you. Anyway, if your meetings are off track, what’s the ratio of socialising to status updates and decision-making?
If meetings aren’t viewed as valuable for delegates, they may spend more time socialising, so they can feel at least it wasn’t a complete waste of time, which of course, is an even bigger waste of time.
Daily huddle off track?
At a workshop this week, I had a person mention to me that they used to attend daily huddles in a former job, and they were excruciating. Is it possible that people are walking away from your huddles thinking, what a waste of time? Huddles can be the biggest value or the biggest waste of time for a team.
Here are a few important points to have for a valuable daily huddle:
- 7 to 12 minutes max
- Stand up
- Status update only – no socialising, no problem solving
- Simple agenda – what’s up, where are you stuck, metric update
- Must connect to the meeting rhythm – daily huddle is a part of the weekly rhythm
Team members should walk away from a daily huddle thinking that the meeting was valuable. That they learned something or benefitted from that meeting. If people wish they could just get on with their job, then it might be time to revisit your daily huddles.
Here’s a video I made about improving daily huddles that might interest you. Watch it here: How to improve daily huddles
“We’re not immune to economic headwinds.” Sundar Pichai told Google employees through a memo this week.
Google revenue growth slowed from 62% a year ago to 13% in the past quarter. In the second quarter though, Alphabet said its headcount rose 21% from the year prior. Pichai explained that productivity isn’t where it needs to be and that to avoid layoffs, the company needed to improve productivity. This has resulted in a company-wide focus on improving efficiency and employee focus during an uncertain economic environment.
What I like about this is that Google can sense that the future is uncertain, there are layoffs across the tech industry, and employees are worried, so they’ve rallied the team to focus for two weeks to try and have them solve the problem.
If you’re facing uncertainty or productivity challenges like Google, perhaps a ‘Simplicity Sprint’ with the team focusing on improving productivity could be a beneficial exercise.
Critical Startup Skills
This week I came across an interesting article from the VC firm First Round. It’s a list of nine skills that startup leaders require, labelled as critical, but are probably being overlooked and just as relevant to a scale-up manager.
Here are their nine skills:
- How to get better at taking your own pulse.
- How to get better at delegating.
- How to make your strategy more clear.
- How to speak less and become a better detective during one-in-one’s.
- How to get better at listening – by paying more attention to yourself.
- How to better support the team members you’re likely overlooking.
- How to get better at asking others to weigh in.
- How to attract more specific feedback.
- How to proactively take care of your emotional health.
I found the Cherish / Change Retrospective particularly interesting:
“On one side of the spectrum, I have things I want to hold on to.
From there, I ask myself if I want or need to nurture this thing (as in, focus some attention on gardening/watering it) or let it flow (as in, don’t intervene and let things happen).
On the other side are the things I want to change.
From there, I’ll ask myself if I want more or less of it.”
Read the article here: The Critical Startup Skills You Might Be Overlooking — And How to Bring Them Into Focus
This week on The Growth Whisperers podcast
How to structure presentations to ensure effective decision making
Leaders often waste a lot of time on decisions because meeting delegates are not well prepared with the information needed or aren’t well-disciplined with a process that can lead to an effective and quick decision.
In order to be a more effective leader, effective decision-making in meetings is crucial. Also, the format of rules and engagement to discuss, debate and decide impacts the effectiveness of meetings.
In this episode, Brad and Kevin discuss how to achieve effective decision-making during presentations and meetings.
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