In an age when communication continues to change rapidly, one method of sharing information in the workplace remains more relevant than ever: The Daily Huddle.
Only 15 Minutes per Day
Designed to share information efficiently across an organization, daily meetings can help address issues, seize opportunities, and align an entire organization. The practice was a staple of John D. Rockefeller, who lunched with his team at Standard Oil every day, and has been utilized by other successful leaders since like Steve Jobs and T. Boone Pickens. The practice has also been adopted by agile software teams practicing “daily scrum”.
The daily huddle has been a cornerstone of Verne Harnish’s Scaling Up (Rockefeller Habits 2.0) and is a practice Align’s users consistently describe as a game-changer for their organizations.
Now, in an unprecedented study, Align looked at data from 1,900 companies that used Align to manage their strategic planning, execution, and communication. These companies created 2,950 huddles on Align including 4,145 unique members.
We were able to compare huddle participation and completion of the 435,000 priorities created by these same companies and their eNPS results (a measure of employee satisfaction).
The Impact of the Daily Huddle
Using this data, we found teams that use Align to manage their daily and weekly check-ins are able to take on 48% more priorities per quarter. Additionally, teams using Align for huddles complete 60% more priorities each period than those that don’t.
While we’ve long suspected a link between practicing daily huddles and the ability to execute on strategic priorities, the magnitude of the impact (60% more priorities completed!) quantitatively confirmed the correlation and surpassed our expectations.
The power of the daily huddle may arise from the agility it provides an organization. Just as the daily scrum helps software teams address roadblocks to progress on code development as they arise, a daily huddle means risks and opportunities are quickly identified and acted upon.
According to Harvard Business Review, 29% of organizations react so slowly that they can’t seize fleeting opportunities or mitigate emerging threats and 24% of organizations react to opportunities quickly but lose sight of company strategy. Executing on strategy requires the right balance of focus and agility that the daily huddle provides.
As Scaling Up author Verne Harnish says, “Regular meetings allow for important discussions to unfold around new opportunities, strategic concerns, and bottlenecks as they arise to ensure your organization stays on track to achieve its goals.”
How does the daily huddle create efficiency?
The Daily Huddle provides in-person one-to-many communication that replaces multiple one-to-one conversations that are otherwise repeated throughout the day.
The act of creating an update for the group drives each member to think about what they are doing in the next 24 hours that impacts the company and/or the rest of the team.
By spending those 2-3 minutes focusing their thoughts in advance of a daily huddle, each member has organized their day around priorities and thought about how they align with the team and company goals.
Another key aspect of the daily huddle is updating the entire team on metrics that matter. Each team should be tracking some form of daily metric that they help drive for the company and share those metrics in their daily huddle. This daily update keeps the progress on those metrics top of mind for the group.
Being candid is also very important to increasing efficiency through daily huddles. Quickly sharing bottlenecks or identifying where you are stuck with the group gets more people focused on a problem so that it can be addressed in real-time.
The Bottom Line
At its core, the Daily Huddle is about efficient communication. It can replace hours spent reading and responding to emails and Slack messages. While there may be other ways to stay updated on the progress of strategic priorities, the effectiveness of Daily Huddles, at a maximum of 15 minutes each day, is difficult to beat.
Through our research, we confirmed the magnitude that this simple practice can have. We’re excited to share it with the hope that even more companies will implement this simple yet transformative habit.
In addition to insights on Daily Huddles, Align’s data also provides insights on the strategic planning and execution process, which we’ve published in a new report. We encourage anyone looking to improve strategic planning and execution in their organization to take a look.
If you’ve experienced success implementing a system of strategic management, you can compare your results to the findings as a benchmark for performance. If you’re just starting on a journey to better strategic execution, then this research can hopefully serve as education and motivation as you embark!
If you’re interested in learning more, download the full whitepaper here:
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