Episode 28 – The Growth Whisperers
The Growth Whisperers is a weekly podcast hosted by Brad Giles and Kevin Lawrence two advisors to mid-market businesses, one Australian, one Canadian, who each work with CEOs and Leadership Teams across the world with a mission to build enduring, great companies. Each weekly episode covers interesting situations and questions from the world of strategic planning, leadership development, talent and hiring in high growth entrepreneurial companies where real results matter.
The top 5 tips for Daily Huddle best practice
This week on The Growth Whisperers Kevin and Brad talk about how to make daily huddle meetings more effective and how to make your team engaged through daily huddle meetings.
The talk about the 5 most important things that CEOs should do to make daily huddles succeed, and how daily huddles fail.
Kevin Lawrence 00:13
Hey, welcome to the growth whispers podcast where everything that we talk about is about helping leaders build enduring great companies. That’s for the leaders and their teams. Hey, I’m Kevin Lawrence. And I’m joined today as I am every week with my co host, Brad Giles Brad. How you doing?
Brad Giles 00:30
I’m excellent. Really, really good today springs coming in. And I know I’ve said that before, but 29 degrees here. 29 degrees Celsius. Yeah, it’s starting to warm up one of the first you know, the first warmer days of spring. It’s just like that, which is? Yeah, it’s really nice after a cold, wet locked down winter. Really nice to get a warm day. So that’s me, how are you doing?
Kevin Lawrence 00:58
Good. You know, I’m at the opposite end of the spectrum, knowing that I’m at the also at the opposite end of the world. And we had a flash of sunshine today. Yesterday was one of those rainy winter days, and cool. And today, I was pleasantly surprised I had my warm winter jacket on went out with my son to do some things and found that I was a little warm at times, although at the end of the day it cooled off. So it was it was good to be wearing it. So but we did have a nice flash the sun had the end of our great season here as we head into winter. So yeah, it’s although it’s still good. I appreciate the sunshine. I must say you notice it more when it’s gone? Like many things.
Brad Giles 01:37
Kevin Lawrence 01:39
So what topics do we have today? What are we going to what are we digging into today? Brad?
Brad Giles 01:44
Well, we’re digging into something that that impacts a lot, a lot of companies and people in companies, and it’s the daily huddle. So daily huddle, it’s a simple short meeting that’s supposed to happen every single day, that can have a really huge impact on a company. But what makes a great daily huddle. And so we kind of dig into the different aspects of daily huddles, and best practices, what sort of some things that we’ve observed as well. So daily huddle, interesting topic. So that’s what we’re on to today.
Kevin Lawrence 02:24
It is and I’ll start by saying, I used to be one of the biggest skeptics of this thing called a daily huddle. I remember the first time I heard about it, and I went, this is weird. I didn’t get it. And maybe the way it was articulated, it didn’t really, you know, make a lot of sense in my mind. So I kind of reluctantly tried it with one of my clients. And I have to say, I’ve become a massive fan of it. And a majority of my clients that are on our firm’s clients that we work with worldwide use them not all but a majority. And it can be incredibly effective. Its like unbelievably effective. And, you know, the funniest thing is it you know, I know I was on holiday with my son. There’s this place that we go into summer called Kelowna, it’s in the Okanagan region. You know, like you have in Australia, this is a region that makes some great wines. It’s a wonderful spot. And we were in a Walmart, and I’d heard Walmart did daily meetings, and we came upon a daily meeting. Wow. Yeah. So my son who was seven at the time said what are you doing dad?I was kind of like, you know, standing behind one of the shelves behind the racking in the section where all the books were? Because I want to listen to their daily meeting. Yeah, no, it was long, it was much longer than we recommend. But they went through and they were talking about all the things and there was a delivery truck coming in with a certain delivery at 10. And it needed to be unloaded. And they talked about all these things. But then the best part the piece de resistance, as the French would say. They did the Walmart song at the end, really, and they saying the Walmart song. Oh, and I’m watching them. And there’s a whole bunch of them circled around. And they were giddy and laughing and almost embarrassed at the same time. But yeah, they were singing the company song at the end of the meeting. So to make it even better. I then went and tracked down to the people I saw the guy I figured was the store manager or the manager on duty. And one of the participants and I, I asked the participant I said, you know, tell me what that daily meeting is. She goes, Well, look, we do it every day. And it helps us know what’s going on. And every time we sing that song, it’s kind of weird, but we feel good. And we laugh. That was interesting. I tracked down the store manager and I talked to him. And I said hey, I saw you guys doing that daily meeting. I And we know a little bit about them. Tell me about it. Like, why do you do it? He goes, Well, almost all stores in the chain, do them once some do them twice per day, depending he told me, they rotated around the store to different locations, so that different people can participate because the cashiers can’t leave the cashier stations. Yeah, so they do it near the front of the store. So the cashiers can overhear it, and they move it around. And it was absolutely fastinating one to see it, but it was, it was a real live example on a fairly large scale in, you know, the biggest bricks and mortar retailer in the world. Yeah, so it was I, I’m a believer, man. I’m a believer, believer in the value, and not just from Walmart from seeing it really effective and other companies. So you know, and if we’re gonna define it, how would you? How would you define this thing called a daily meeting?
Brad Giles 06:01
Well, it’s a short meeting. First of all, I’m just going to tell you how I came across the daily huddle in the first place. First time was a book called Mastering the Rockefeller habits, I read about it. And it seemed, it seemed to be effective. I hadn’t tried it. I had my own company at the time. And it was, it seemed to be a little bit too much rah, rah, for me,
Kevin Lawrence 06:28
Brad Giles 06:30
And it seemed like, hang on, we got to stand up in a circle. And it seemed a little bit too much. And that’s not really aligned with the Australian culture, Australian culture, as you will know, is very understated. And anything that’s kind of silly bribery, or are we’re gonna kind of not want to do so it wasn’t even about me. It’s about I couldn’t get my team to do that. But a couple of years later, I went to see a guy called Jack Daley, a famous sales speaker. And I took a couple of my key team members, I remember distinctly was Sally and Vicki and we went down there and we spent the day with Jack. Now jack is one of the most rah rah motivational as you will ever meet. Ever Made? He is
Kevin Lawrence 07:22
Yeah. And he is some of the most colorful language you might ever hear in a professional setting.
Brad Giles 07:30
Which is not abnormal in Australia. But his, yeah, he’s patriotism. He’s, he’s energy was infectious. And it was great. And so at the end of the day, I sort of sat down with Sally and Vicki, and we went through it. And I said, So look, what do you guys read? And that was, that was pretty good. So what do you think of the kind of the top three things that we should do? And they both said, almost, in sync, they said, we’ve got to start daily huddles, we’re going to start them tomorrow. I was like, Oh, okay. And it was great, because I didn’t believe I could get it through until I got the team subscribed to this kind of our perspective, even though it was so very American, and so very full-on. They realize they recognize the value. And then that was kind of the catalyst that we could take it through. So that’s my kind of introduction. Subsequently, we ran one every single day. And yeah, I get all of my kind of the companies I work with now to run one every day. So coming back to your question. What is daily huddle? Well, I think that the daily huddle, it, it’s like the glue that holds the team together and connect, if you like a status update with the weekly meeting, the monthly meeting the quarterly meeting. So it’s it’s kind of like the glue that joins coach and execution if you like, I that’s how I kind of see it. It’s this thing that holds those two things together. And what about yourself?
Kevin Lawrence 09:21
Yeah, I would say it’s, it’s a daily alignment meeting. It’s kind of a formalized version. And then today’s very, very virtual world even more important. It’s a formalized version of having a coffee in the kitchen company kitchen in the morning and having a chat about what’s going on. Yeah, but as companies grow, that becomes too many people to do that. And when people aren’t in the same place, or they’re just busy, it doesn’t happen. So it’s a formalized, structured chat about what’s going on. So we’re in sync. So we’re on the same page and we know you know, important things that are happening. We know how the business is doing, and we kind of have an opportunity to flush together to flush out and get what we need from each other, and generally works on scale. It’s a, it’s a very simple concept. And a discipline that if done right is insanely, insanely helpful. Yeah. So you know, and I’ve seen this thing work, both in companies and personally and one of the, one of the CEOs that I interviewed when I worked on this book called scaling up, interviewed 50, CEOs around the world, and most of them did daily meetings, because that was part of the methodology they all subscribed to. But one of them also said, it was the most important meeting every day in his world. And that was his daily meeting with his wife. And I’ve heard therapists say the same thing. And I’m not the expert on relationship advice. But therapists have said the same thing, that that time with your partner in life is critical, because you can talk about, you know, what’s going on and how they’re doing, and not getting lost in the day and in the transactions of the day. So a therapist that we’ve sent a bunch of couples to, so that the daily meeting, his version of the Daily talk time, he called, it was the most important thing for couples relationships. And this, this, the CEO said, it was his most important daily call, especially when he was travelling that time with his wife every day. So we’re going to be talking about the business context. But it’s got an important context in our personal lives to also stay in sync there.
Brad Giles 11:27
from, from what I recall, attending and running daily, huddles, there was a couple of things. Every single day, there would be as a leader, as a CEO every single day, there was something that all would come away with that was really valuable, that I would never have learned without that daily huddle. So that’s the first thing. And the second thing is that it forced me to prepare. So when I was driving to the office, I would have to think to myself, what is going to be my checking now maybe that’s just the way my brain works. But I had to, I had to think Okay, so what’s up? Like, that was our first question. What’s up? What’s going on? And what happened in the last 24 hours? since our last checking, that’s kind of the context for the first one, and where am I stuck? And what are the metrics so we it forced you to kind of resynchronize not only with the team, but also in your own head now, start the day, and it can be done any time of day. But for me, they were the two things. Number one, I learned things Number two, it forced me to prepare.
Kevin Lawrence 12:37
Yeah, and what I’ve seen other CEOs say and other leaders say, Brad is that, that allows them to have fewer individual conversations. And it’s a better transmission of information between the team because they can share one message with everyone. And they get to hear all these other things all at once, it creates a lot of efficiency, a ton of efficiency. So why don’t we drop in, we’re gonna kind of cover off three things here, we’re gonna cover off the agenda. And there’s many iterations, but the base of the agenda, we’re talking about some examples, some do’s and don’ts, and then some kind of some common questions. We have lots to cover, because we’ve been involved in so many over the year. So the agenda. So the typical one that we use and recommend is three simple points. And I’ve seen it right, but what’s up, as you mentioned, is the first question like, it’s what’s going on that we should all know about? Is, is what’s up is about? And then there’s the metrics or KPIs, what are the what’s the data that tells us how the company is doing that, that we want to pay attention to? And you know, depending on your business, there’ll be different measures, and most companies have daily numbers that matter. And then the last one is stucks. Basically, what is it you are stuck on that’s going to keep you from having a great day, and doing what you need to do today. And whether it’s something you got to resolve yourself or something you might need from a colleague that’s holding you up? Yeah, it could be called bottlenecks. It could become you know, issues, it could become challenge. You can call it all kinds of things could use assistance with I find, you know, people tend to get stuck on the word sucks, because our egos don’t want to admit that we’re stuck. So people will come up with different words to kind of make it more acceptable to bring a stuck to the meeting is something I found but nobody. So the summary is, what’s up number one, number two KPIs or metrics, number three sucks, or what does it need to have a great day?
Brad Giles 14:47
And so are there any other iterations of that, that what you’ve just described there? I would probably say is best practice, but, of course, everyone. Some people like to do things there. And why which is fine now? Well, the overriding mantra is, if that’s best practice, the job of you and I, and the CEOs is to figure out how do we get best practice to work best in this environment. And some of some of them might be culturally different, or there might be some different issues. So sure,
Kevin Lawrence 15:19
they’ll just like to mess with stuff. And the one thing I will tell you a lot of things, you know, be careful messing with stuff because people generally add. And when you add, you add points, which adds complexity, which adds time, which generally ends up decreasing value. So please, avoid the temptation to think that you’re smarter than the system and add to it, because it’ll probably backfire. Because it’ll take too long. That’s why there’s only three questions. So iterations I’ve seen, I’ve seen tons Brad, as I know, you have, I’ve seen people do a daily joke. I’ve just to kind of lighten it, right? One accounting group that we work with does that another group did the Arabic word of the day, this is the Middle East, I was working there. Most people were English speaking. But the local language is Arabic. So they’d have the Arabic word of the day.
Brad Giles 16:17
Kevin Lawrence 16:18
And, you know, I lots of other like, we’ll call it in novelty pieces. Um, I’ve seen a company called one 800 got junk out of Vancouver here. They’re there. They’ve got some great videos out there on doing a great daily huddle. And they have the American rah rah style in theirs. But they had the question of, instead of stucks, they called it missing systems. Because it was de-personalizing it, they had a psychologist help them with some of the questions. So it you know, missing systems, de-personalizes it. And then they also added, what do you look forward to? Because that’s very positive in terms of your psychology and making you feel good? What are you looking forward to? Yeah, I’ll leave you with a sense of a positive feeling and a sense of optimism. So I’ve seen those adaptations. What have you seen, Brad?
Brad Giles 17:11
Well, I’m saying what one that comes to mind is energy. Energy up. So what’s the positive energy? And, and there’s clearly something behind that the leaders or the people who are creating that are trying to create a positive energy atmosphere. Yep. And yeah, I’ve seen another one, which is what are the opportunities that you’ve seen? So looking for, for any opportunities, which could be to make a sale to bring in a new team player or anything? What’s the opportunities you’ve seen in the last since our last daily huddle?
Kevin Lawrence 17:44
Not um, I want to say the energy Brad, I’ve also seen companies that would start off with music to kind of actually bring some energy to the environment, too. I’ve also seen
Brad Giles 17:55
Yeah, I think Brian Scudamore and one 800 got junk. I think I might have seen a, we’re doing that in one of their videos as well. And yeah, it’s it’s your flavor. But there, I think that there is an overriding rule that I would highly recommend, and you really don’t want it to be much more than 10 minutes. Because you can introduce all these cool things. And it’s, it’s, it’s fun, and you can do all these things. But if it’s going to go for 15 or 20 minutes, people are going to begin to resent that meeting. And we want it to be short,
Kevin Lawrence 18:32
because it won’t be valuable. Yeah, time, our time is valuable. And if you’re running low on I use 10 minutes as the benchmark. If you’re using it, running it longer than 10 minutes. That means you’re Miss managing the meeting. And misusing the time you’ve got a group of people here every day. And it’s got to be darn valuable. So if we kind of go into the list of do’s and don’ts that we have the number one is use a timer. Yeah, start on time. Exactly. on time, wait for no one and finish on time. you recommend a 10 minute intent. And but a 12 minute hard stops. Okay, guys, time’s up. We got to go. Have a great rest of your day. See you tomorrow.
Brad Giles 19:23
Kevin Lawrence 19:25
Otherwise, you know, lots of people want to these become 30 minute meetings and a lot of companies. Yeah, there’s not 30 minutes of value. So it’s, it’s, it’s you’re better to even to start off with light and and and be faster. Because then people won’t, as you said, resent them. So that is absolutely critical. And by the way, you know, one of the common things that comes up is that people say well, maybe we should make them two or three days a week. And what you and I both know is what they’re really saying is they’re a waste of damage. Time, let’s waste less time and only waste time a couple of days a week. Every time I’ve heard that I dig in, the meetings are not 10 minutes, they’re 15, 20, 25, 30 minute meetings. And that’s why your people are being smart and saying, hey, these are a waste time, let’s waste less time. So switching them two to three days a week is not a solution. It’s it’s missing the core issue that they’re long and boring.
Brad Giles 20:28
Well, this is a this is an expensive meeting, if you’re getting the leadership team or the mid-management team, or the whole company, or whoever it is. I mean, this is a very expensive thing. So you’ve got to look at it like any business investment. And so are we getting the return on investment that we should then synchronicity, having people report having the culture, right, having better execution, like there is great value from that. But if you’re not disciplined, and if it’s not a valuable meeting for attendees, if it’s not holding people to account, you know, if it’s going for 20 minutes or 30 minutes, it’s not going to be a valuable meeting, then people will resent it and we’ve got to avoid that said what you’ve just said there if people are asking it, that’s like a red flag. That’s an Asian people are signaling to you that the daily huddles aren’t working. We’ve got a press reset.
Kevin Lawrence 21:25
Yes, absolutely. And and and one of the things that helps our second point on our do’s and don’ts is actually to stand up. Some call it a daily stand up. Energy is different when you stand up in the bed when you sit down. When I do keynotes, virtual keynotes, I make sure I stand up. I take the station I’m at this is an adjustable workspace. And right now I’m sitting. But I stand up when I’m doing those keynotes because more energy gets projected when I’m standing up. And things move faster. By the way, it’s a little hack I learned early in my career when I was in sales. If you’ve got somebody on the phone, and they won’t get off the phone, stand up. Yeah. And when you stand up your energy changes. And it’s easier to actually end a conversation if try it. You got a long winded friend. Give it a try. If it doesn’t work, you heard it somewhere else.
Brad Giles 22:19
The thing is, you heard it somewhere else. The thing about having a stand up daily huddle, it’s a message to everyone that this is a short meeting, not a long meeting.
Kevin Lawrence 22:30
Yes. Don’t sit down, have a cappuccino, talk about the weekend and think and attend spend 10 minutes explaining the meal that you had. It’s not that not so even if you’re virtual, get people standing up it, it is a huge difference maker in making it quicker.
Brad Giles 22:50
Yeah. And so the next point is to go around. So we nominally got, let’s say three questions in our agenda. So to ask the first question, which we said was, what’s up? So what’s up person I, what’s up Person B, C, D, we go all around only asking the first question, and then we come back to the beginning. And then we go with the second question. And then we go with the third question.
Kevin Lawrence 23:18
Tell me about that. Well, I call it circle three times, because two things happen. One, you actually hear from everyone, right? Even to say who’s got something. Now, if you got 50, sometimes people do an all-hands and to be 50 people in the meeting, he can’t do that as well. You need to go every fifth person or have another mechanism. But when you hear from everybody to it’s faster, because people are only given one piece of information. If I go through all three questions, it’s inevitable that I’ll add in more information and more detail and take longer, because I got three questions to answer. So it’s synced, and it includes everyone.
Brad Giles 24:02
And also, in my experience, it gives you the opportunity, when you go around three times there’s gonna be someone, there’s going to be someone who’s going to take a little bit longer, in fact, probably quite a lot longer. So you can as the facilitator when you see they’re going to go longer. You can it’s an opportunity to say, Kevin, can we just go a little bit quicker this time? Just to drop that in there a little exactly?
Kevin Lawrence 24:28
Yeah, yeah. It gives you an opportunity to facilitate?
Brad Giles 24:31
Yes, yes. Yeah.
Kevin Lawrence 24:32
So that is critical circle three times here for everyone. help it to move along faster. The fourth, and the most important one and the trap. What we will preface this what we say to me was, hey, we’re not here to discuss or solve now. If our building is on fire. We can discuss it if the neighbor’s building is on fire, We probably don’t, we have someone step up and call 911. And we just keep going, I’m exaggerating a bit. But unless the damn building is on fire, we don’t talk about the problems. Yeah, even as exciting as they could be, and otherwise, we’re gonna end up with a 30 minute meeting and we’re not going to cover what we need. Now. The trick is, oh, the neighbor’s buildings on fire. Make note. Hey, Sam, and Frank, let’s talk about this afterwards. And Sally want to call 911 right now. We’ll talk about that after the meeting, boom, what else is going on? So you finish your meeting in 10 minutes, you can talk about the burning building on at the 11th minute and everyone else who doesn’t need to be there can go. Now, the burning building is a bit of a crazy idea. But you got the idea. It’s, there’s nothing really critical enough to disrupt the flow of your 10 minute meeting. So
Brad Giles 25:58
the problem is the clarifying question. Okay. So someone says, Oh, so where am I stuck? I’m stuck getting a meeting at the Heineken account. Okay. And they say that this is my status update. This is where I’m stuck. Another person with completely good intent says, Have you tried talking to rob there? And suddenly it’s turned in from
Kevin Lawrence 26:28
Rob, is that is that Rob? Rob? f? Oh, yeah. No, I had lunch with him yesterday. Oh, he’s great. He was, you know, his wife is now pregnant. No, I didn’t know his wife is But well, you know, he’s actually doing really, really well. We’re gonna actually gonna be in here tomorrow. So when he’s in here tomorrow, you know, and then the bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla.
Brad Giles 26:48
But this is, this leads perfectly into our fifth one, which is you’ve got to have a traffic cop of facilitators, because there’s always going to be that well meaning. And it’s probably the same culprit every time the well meaning question asker, Who’s Who? Who just for whatever reason, has no respect for the rules of the game? And we’ll just say, Oh, no.
Kevin Lawrence 27:13
They’re so obsessed with wanting to help people. They forget there’s rules. And if there was they still want to help them. And so it’s a good, it’s a good intent. Yes. And that’s where the go ahead bread. That’s where the traffic cop is critical. So why don’t you demo what the traffic cop might sound like in that case?
Brad Giles 27:35
Well, we’ve just role played that where you’ve said, Have you had lunch? And all I’m looking for is anything that’s going to stop is getting under time. Okay, so if we’re aiming for 10 minutes, let’s, let’s try for nine. And you can see that and at all I’m going to as soon as, as soon as someone says, have you? Have you spoken to rob, before they even get a chance to reply, I’m going to say, I’m going to say that’s meant to be up. Can you guys just take that offline talk about that after and then just beautiful. Rinse and repeat, please take it offline talk about that after?
Kevin Lawrence 28:18
And that’s why the word traffic cop, not traffic friend, not traffic light traffic cop where there’s this bit of authoritarian nature to that’s not okay here. But on the 11th minute, it’s perfect.
Brad Giles 28:34
And I’m gonna go as far as to say, I recommend it’s not the CEO. Usually the CEO is not the best at it.
Brad Giles 28:43
Yeah, there’s someone in my experience, there was someone who was in the administration who was quite strong-willed or was quite forthright. And they were just a perfect traffic cop facilitator, they would just be like, we’ve got to stick to the rules. We’ve got to stick to the rules, and they were excellent at it.
Kevin Lawrence 29:04
So stick to the rules, but strong-willed you need the type who’s gonna speak up by the way, please, don’t rotate the person who runs the meeting. No, like that’s, that’s like, that’s like rotating the sniper in a military team, you know, and the military. Like the sniper is a specific skill. You don’t take turns being sniper. Right? And running this meeting is a specific skill and people like to democratize it and have different people that’s, it’s a nightmare, unless someone’s running it for a period of time. So they have time to hone their craft and get good. But generally, you need a fairly dominant personality that’s not afraid to speak up and push people along because it’s, it’s not easy for people to cut other people off. But yeah, I have no problem. I generally have no problem with it. Especially if I know that it’s my role, but for a lot of people, it’s they see it as rude and disrespectful for me, and you would see it as rude and disrespectful to everybody else if I don’t cut them off.
Brad Giles 30:12
I only do it because I care. Okay, if I didn’t care, I would let this conversation go on and on and on for three minutes. And I would let the whole meeting go over for 10 minutes. And it would ultimately have a negative impact on the whole business.
Kevin Lawrence 30:31
And we’d all be recommending it to do it only twice a week. Correct? Yeah, yeah. And well, that traffic cop role is damn important. Yeah, like really, really, really, really important.
Brad Giles 30:44
Yeah, yeah. So I want to talk about this kind of five there, use a timer, start-finish on time, stand up, it’s a circle of energy. And then circle around three times don’t go through three questions per person. solutions for the after the meeting, only a status update. And then finally have a credit couple facilitator but there’s a facilitator. But there’s one more, there’s one more. And that’s really that’s about the metrics. But before I talk about the metrics, I want to come back to the agenda where we began. Now. Look at the agenda, okay. It’s, it’s about execution. So if we think about the business overall, we’ve got working in the business, and we’ve got working on the business. So that would translate in my language to working in the businesses, your KPIs. That is I’m a salesperson, I need to sell 100 widgets a week, an example of a key performance indicator working in the business, but then there’s working on the business, which would be might be should be. What are your top five priorities for the quarter? And so then we think about that constitutes, yeah, my KPIs and my priorities, that then translates right down into what we’re talking about at the daily huddle. So where are you stuck? So are you stuck up on the implicit question within that is a stuck on your KPIs? Is there any reason that you won’t make your weekly KPI targets? Is there any reason that you won’t make your weekly priorities targets? Or let’s say one 13th of what you’re aiming for? And then what’s up? Where am I stuck? So both of those three things are really sort of around that. And the metrics is the other one the metrics is, you would think that if I was a salesperson, and to that point, I was selling 100 widgets a week, I would say, well, it’s Tuesday. And I’ve sold 20 widgets, therefore unread. But sometimes these metrics you don’t get every day. So what do you do in that case? Well, above other metrics is the answer. So in every area, there are there is not only one metric, you can bring in Alba, interesting, relevant metrics that tell your story. So if you’ve got two KPIs and five priorities, there’s immediately and they’re all the priorities are measurable, because they’re smart. There’s immediately seven points of data that you could report on any one of those. So there should be probably only one at a daily huddle, I’d say. But it could be my priority for
Kevin Lawrence 33:53
but back out there for a second Brad. Yeah. So you’re saying there should be one metric at a daily huddle in total? Or this should be one metric from each of the people or what is it your What are your What is it? You’re saying they’re
Brad Giles 34:05
one metric from each of the people?
Kevin Lawrence 34:08
Right? Okay, good. That’s, that’s Yeah, I agree. He should be like a handful of match metrics, 567 metrics on a daily basis, potentially. So what you’re saying what I’m hearing you say is sometimes people struggle with what do we report daily? And some companies have those five or seven numbers they can look at every day for the whole company, and it’s really powerful. Some of them don’t move as fast. Sometimes it gets stuck on this. Yeah. And what you’re saying what you recommend, is that, well, then on Monday, we report five, but Tuesday, we might report different ones. Is that kind of what you’re saying? Is that you?
Brad Giles 34:48
Yeah, and it’s if you think about what’s a bad example, people don’t want to talk about their numbers to their peers. The opposite of that is The gold standard, which is peer accountability, where I report my numbers, and I’m held accountable by the group, and I hold each other accountable as well. And so, yeah, and so therefore, basically, am I on track to achieve this week’s plan at a daily huddle and on track to achieve this quarter’s plan, because I’m reporting to my peers, and this is the relevant status update around that.
Kevin Lawrence 35:29
So you boil that down? That’s a lot of stuff you’re saying there. So when it comes to metrics, on a daily basis, make this real simple for us? What is it you’re saying?
Brad Giles 35:43
You don’t only need to report the same number every day. Okay, but what is a relevant number that gives the team confidence that you will get to the end of the quarter and be all green?
Kevin Lawrence 36:00
So you could, in theory, have a couple that you report every day for the whole company, or none that are every day, if you don’t have that. But you could do marketing on Monday, operations on Tuesday, HR on Wednesday, finance on Thursday, marketing on Friday is an example that you could go through and look at some different ones, or a blow. And I like that, Brad, because you know, I know, you always have some different thoughts. And I love that thought is that it could be basically department metrics or KPIs. They get reported on a rotational basis, which could be really effective. I really like that idea. It’s really powerful.
Brad Giles 36:40
I think, well, let’s, let’s reverse it. And I think about backwards, we get to the end of the quarter, and someone’s all red, or they’ve got a lot of red. We had 90, how many working days in a quarter 70, whatever it is working days? to course correct? 75, whatever it is days to course correct. So that’s the objective of metrics in the daily huddle, am I going to get to the end of the quarter and have achieved my KPIs for me and or my department and the priorities. So there’s at least seven numbers through that or metrics that you can be and should be reporting on a regular basis, so that everyone’s got confidence that we’re not going to have to call out Kevin, because he’s going to be read again, at the end of the quarter.
Kevin Lawrence 37:33
Got it. So you could have the typical five to seven numbers for the company that you look at every day, same numbers every day. Or you could have a rotational schedule, where you can dig into some of the DEP version of those, which is, I think, an awesome idea, which would probably help a lot of people I think, yeah, so so that’s, that’s the bonus one. So you know, if we dig into it, we’ve seen so many examples of this, like tons and tons of examples. You know, I remember I’m Roger Hardy, he built a company called coastal contacts. And he sold it for a lot out of Vancouver, again, another entrepreneur I interviewed for scaling up. And he said that his daily meetings got to the point where it was like brushing his teeth. This happens to a lot of people is that he did it every day, it didn’t think a lot about it. But he really, really noticed, like, if you don’t brush your teeth, what happened when he missed it, you could really tell something was wrong when he didn’t participate in those in those daily meetings. So So let’s talk about the structure of the daily meetings, because in the small companies, you can have everyone if you’ve got 15,20 people, you can have an all hands type daily meeting. But as you start to get bigger, how does the meeting fit with the meeting model fit within the structure?
Brad Giles 38:55
I think if you’re only doing daily huddles, and you’re not doing rhythm of weekly, and quarterly, weekly meetings and quarterly planning meetings for full day, if you’re only doing the daily huddle, you’re probably only getting 20 or 30 or 40% of the actual value. Yeah. Because the daily huddle is have to connect to the weekly because what you’re saying in the daily huddle is, it’s now seven days, six days, five days, until our next weekly at our weekly I’m going to report green at our weekly on you know, this is my status, update my synchronization to give you confidence that by the weekly that’s coming up in four days, five days time, I’m going to be green. I’m going to achieve what I said I was going to do and so we don’t want to get any surprises. It’s gotta connect to the weekly I think it’s a fundamental part. What do you think?
Kevin Lawrence 39:59
Yeah, I think I think the daily connecting into the week as a daily is just staying in sync, the weekly you start digging in and troubleshooting words you so for sure, that’s important. And then there’s the organizational structure the way that it connects, you know, and in a medium sized company, which we worked a lot with, if you got, you know, a few hundred employees, you know, there’s the CEO and executive team has their dailies. And ideally, they’re booked back to back so you can’t be late. And then the exec will have it with their direct reports, which often be called directors. And then those directors would have their direct reports that would commonly be called managers.
Brad Giles 40:42
Kevin Lawrence 40:43
So the CEO is in one, the executives are in two, they’re in the one with their peers, and then the one with their direct reports. And then the maximum anyone would normally be in is three daily meetings a day, or Yeah, which would be about 30 to 40 minutes. So that would be if you’re a director, you would have had one with your peers and your your manager was just an executive. You would actually only have to pardon me. And then you would have one with your direct reports would be to pardon me, not three.
Brad Giles 41:19
Yeah, twos. What I would typically say,
Kevin Lawrence 41:21
I know that was a miscut. Miss miscalculation in my head. Yeah,
Brad Giles 41:24
yeah. Yeah, I would be typically saying to is, you don’t want to be going beyond to I actually had one guy who was a sales manager who was in it. And I was kind of like, what do you how we do all day? And funnily enough, that’s what the CEO ended up asking him as a dismissed as well,
Kevin Lawrence 41:46
somebody I gotta say, for as much as people hate meetings, there are some people that love meetings.
Brad Giles 41:52
Yeah, yeah. Um, yeah, so to is probably best practice, you know, to your question, there’s a YouTube video from a company here in Australia called Shoes of Prey. And, and, and it’s a good example, how to have a company and I guess there would have been 50 people in this daily huddle, that how it worked is each of the departments met for about six minutes. Ah, so and there was a timer. So the flag dropped, the timer started. And you were sitting on the video with one of the teams and they went around, and they did this. And then they all an hour, because it was a large room. All of the teams then came together once the six minutes was up. And now there’s this massive circle of people, where all teams have come together. And then they provided a company wide huddle, where there was each of the heads of each of those departments had a quick check in. This is the this is what’s happened, this is what’s happened. And so it was kind of like it went from an individual to department, and then a bit of an overview from the CEO. And now we’re done within 12 minutes.
Kevin Lawrence 43:03
So again, that structure was smaller groups for six minutes.
Brad Giles 43:09
Yeah. So So imagine there’s four groups of people. And they have a six minute daily huddle now, and they’re all in this massive room. And then after six minutes, kind of someone yells out, time’s up, and they all go into a massive circle. And then each of the heads of the departments provide their quick status. I’d like all the department, so everyone knows what’s going on in my pod. And then what’s going on in the whole organization? over 12 minutes, including a sort of 32nd summary from the CEO.
Kevin Lawrence 43:45
Right, which is, which is the way it’s kind of intended to be structured in the rhythm of it, except for the region, not in the same room together. Yeah, so basically, you and your peers, with your boss, and then you and your direct reports. So in ideally two a day should be 20 to 30 minutes, and then it should more than pay for itself in terms of time because everyone’s in sync.
Brad Giles 44:10
Yeah, and I don’t remember what book I read it in, you might but Walmart, the way that and you mentioned a million, but the way that they structure, their daily huddle, it cascades really quickly from a small store to the headquarters across about six layers of management. So if there’s a major incident, it cascades up really, really quickly. And that’s the thing about that. previous example, if there’s a big issue in one of the departments, everyone knows in the whole company within 10 minutes. Exactly because it’s all cascading up or it’s cascading down and
Kevin Lawrence 44:49
within within the first hour of the day, and ideally there in the morning, you get the benefit of the alignment and getting in sync. But ideally, it all cascades down or some cascade up But it all happens within that in that hour. Um, there’s a couple other things, we wanted to make sure that we that we share, we talked about how many that you would be in, there was something else as we were talking there, Brad, about making them effective. It will come back to me. Oh, one of the things is, is and if you do the circle three times, you can make sure everyone participates. So it’s not just the talkative ones who are always there sharing another side. Another interesting point is when people share what’s up, some companies based on their culture will have people share what’s up in their life as well. Now, we don’t want it to be just purely a personal update, and hey, how was your weekend? But an element of that really suits a lot of cultures? Yeah.
Brad Giles 45:56
Yeah. And on further on to that, you’ve got to as the leader, you’ve got to have your, your spidey sense on for one of a better term to detect when people not really providing in genuine check in when a people Yes, just rocking up and say, you know, I don’t really have any stocks. What did I do yesterday, I was just like, the fun. The famous one is accounts receivable. So what we were doing in the last day, yeah, I was just really doing accounts receivable again, like I did the day before and the day before, okay.
Kevin Lawrence 46:39
And, and so those verses, Hey, you know, for the 14th time, I tried to call XYZ company, they’re not getting back to us. And they owe us $42,000. Frank, in sales, or so and so CEO, I could use some help here, which is all there’s almost always going to be one of those going on, and you need to create an environment where that stuff comes up.
Brad Giles 47:04
But that’s my point. And that’s a perfect example, that is the job of the leader, to course-correct people, because people are always going to go up. So you’ve got to know when are people missing too many? Because they claim to have a meeting, or they’re not providing the right kind of checking.
Kevin Lawrence 47:22
Yeah, and when people don’t, and this is the one of the major disciplines of the leader or the CEO, when people don’t bring stuff to the daily meeting. But after the meeting, all, Sally’s not getting back to me on those emails, or productions got this stuff stuck. And they’re not, you know, they’re not getting what our customers need. It’s like, Wait a second. Why didn’t you bring it to the daily? Okay, this needs to end training people to bring it to the daily instead of coming and taking your time one on one. And it’s usually easier to bring these things one on one, because you don’t get the other opinions. Maybe the other perspectives aren’t going to expose you whatever it happens to be. But training people, everything comes to the daily, and you can stop some of the other gossip or even side talk that can kind of get in the way.
Brad Giles 48:11
People know what’s going on. They know. They know how people are progressing. They know who’s off track, when someone gets fired, there’s no surprises because they’re checking in rate every single day.
Kevin Lawrence 48:24
Brad Giles 48:25
that’s what we want transparency, Authenticity, honesty. It’s a great tool. So good. Good chat. I mean, daily huddle is it seems such a simple, simple topic, but there’s quite a lot in getting it right. I think so. Yes, good chopping. So what
Kevin Lawrence 48:43
it is, and it’s very simple to screw up, it’s very easy to mess up. So go ahead and watch around one
Brad Giles 48:50
of the tough sort of few items to close it out. Then we had number one, use a timer, I guess before one and she got to have an agenda. Super simple, but we nominated, the simple agenda, use a timer. Best practice is no more than 10 minutes if you push it to 12 because you’ve got a lot of people there’s a maybe in there. But if you only got four people in the team, you want to be doing in like six minutes, right? But 10 minutes as a blanket rule, no more than stand up. It’s going to be a circle of energy. Number three through that circle of energy. You want to go around three times ask the one question of every person. No solutions. Every time someone asks a clarifying question, the traffic shot copy should be right on them to stop that conversation dead in its tracks. Tell them to take that into the car park talk about that later. And then, you know, ask everybody to bring metrics, even if they don’t have them not to bring up well there hasn’t been a sales update in last week. So I’ll tell you the one from last week. bring different types of metrics to add flavor and energy to the meeting. Good, good stuff. Good stuff. Well, with that, maybe we’ll move to close. Thanks for listening everyone. This has been the growth whispers podcast with Brad and Kevin. I’m Brad. You’re Kevin. And for the video version, you can go to YouTube. Obviously, look up the growth whispers to reach Kevin, you can go to Lawrence and co.com and for myself, Brad, evolution partners.com.au. So thanks, everyone. We hope that you enjoy your daily huddles, have a great week.