by Michael Holland    

Far too many staff meetings are drudgery for attendees, yet these meetings do provide some valuable information.  Spice up your staff meetings by changing the dynamics of the meeting through Huddles, a simple, fast and effective meeting format that requires attendees to communicate time-critical information efficiently.

Here are some rules for the Huddle Up meeting:

  • Huddles last for 9 minutes.
  • Huddles are run standing up.  ALL attendees must remain standing for the meeting.
  • Pick a unique time of the day that works well with the flow of your team’s work.  Try one of these times to get started.
    • Start of day:  8:56 am
    • Morning Break: 9:21 am
    • Before Lunch: 11:51 am
    • End of day: 4:41 pm
    • Huddle agendas require just 2 items for each participant:
      • What’s going on today in your world that will impact others in the room?
      • Is there something specific you need to be successful today?
      • Muzzle all electronic devices; everyone – including you – can wait up to 9 minutes to get to that voicemail.
      • There’s no room for food at the huddle.

You must manage the quick flow of the huddle.  While encouraging the give and take of information, be sure to lead your team to develop a cadence for the level of communication that works well.   If a more lengthy discussion is needed on a topic, park the topic to be dealt with in a separate meeting at a different location than the huddle.

Here are some ideas to make the huddle even more engaging.

  • Use a stuffed animal as the microphone. Have fun passing the stuffed animal around/across the meeting to the next speaker.
  • Pick the speaking spot for the room.  Rotate the whole group in a circle through the spot, stopping for each participant to speak as needed.
  • Hold the meeting in a small space to create a comfortable, crowded feeling.
  • Have attendees draw numbers or letters from a hat on the way into the meeting designating their order.