Meetings vs Huddles


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Published August 21, 2013

Meetings vs. Huddles…Changing the Dynamics of Staff Meetings

At a recent Seminar of the Institute for Charitable Giving, I asked how many of the group feel their staff meetings are important and effective.

No one raised their hand!  No one!  Whoa!  What’s going on here?

We know that meetings are essential.  The staff needs to know what’s happening.  What activities are in the works.  Who is supposed to be doing what.  By when?  And they need to talk about a strategy and planning for the future.

Staff meetings ought to be exciting and strategic.

So . . . how can we make them more effective?  Jon Dellandrea, the world’s genius of fundraising, starts his senior staff meetings by asking, “What’s the most important issue we need to solve today?”  That’s a great start.

Paula Sneed is an extraordinary consultant, a trustee of her college, and former Executive Vice President of Kraft.  She now calls her senior staff meetings— HUDDLES.

What a great name!  Think about it.  Picture a football game.  The huddle.  The team gets together.  They decide what their next action will be.  How they will get closer to the final objective— going over goal.

Think about it.  There’s strong camaraderie in the huddle.  There’s a leader.  They get their instructions.  They have an opportunity for feed-back.  The huddle is quick (not two hours!) and exhilarating.  An emphasis on teamwork.

They come out of the huddle filled with energy and commitment.  They shout words of encouragement.  They are roaring and raring to move forward.  Everyone knows what they are to do.  Can’t wait.  The magic happens.

Shouldn’t your staff meetings be much like that?  Try a HUDDLE.

(And by the way, many CEOs have meetings with small groups— with everyone standing.  You’ll find that if everyone stands— the meetings are much briefer!)

— Jerry