small business meetings, team building, management

By Andy Bailey

Sports teams huddle to strategize, inspire or celebrate. The same is true for my company’s team at Petra Coach – and should be for yours.
But Andy, are you telling me to schedule another daily meeting? I don’t have time for that. Is it really that important?
Well, if you value fostering alignment and creating accountability, the answer is YES. It is that important.
The most efficient and effective huddle includes the entire team and follows a set dialogue.
Here are four topics I suggest:

  1. What’s Up? — This is where each team member quickly shares anything of relevance to the team — relevance being the key word. Share “wins” from the day before, newly approved projects, positive client feedback, beneficial team resources and tools.
  2. Key Performance Indicator (KPI) Updates — This is the opportunity for team members to report their progress towards individual and company quarterly goals. If a team member sets a quarterly goal of bringing in 25 qualified prospects and has currently met 15, he or she would bring this update to the huddle. This creates an environment of accountability because standing no one wants to stand in front of teammates and report incomplete goals.
  3. Stuck or Needs — At this point, team members can bring up a project or task they can’t move forward on without someone else’s collaboration or assistance. The team member who is stuck must tell the other team member directly and specifically, what they need and by when. The stuck is likely to get “un-stuck” much sooner when the entire team is in the know.
  4. Top Priority — In the final round of huddle, team members announce one item on their to-do lists they WILL complete TODAY. It’s important to emphasize the use of “I will” versus “I’ll try” or “I’m supposed to.” This ensures the important is not derailed to the urgent.

Staying on topic is crucial to the success of team huddles. This mini-meeting should only last about 10 minutes. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun. Share a video clip, play some tunes, read a client note, create a company cheer, or share thoughts and quotes from the prior day.

I work regularly with Legal Monkeys, a medical records collection firm who recently incorporated music into their morning huddle. “Our meetings used to have no energy and now there’s no doubt that starting the meeting with music sets a positive, upbeat tone. You have to start the day off on the right foot. Music does that for our team,” said Corey Cormier, managing partner and product innovator at Legal Monkeys.

The folks at Legal Monkeys take their huddle playlists seriously. They recently designated a team DJ and created a Twitter account where team members can post their huddle song selections alongside special huddle hashtag #monkeykickstart.

So spice things up. After all, huddle should inspire your team, not suck the energy out of them.

Andy Bailey built and sold a multimillion-dollar business and is now lead entrepreneur coach with business coaching firm Petra and president of Nashville’s EO chapter. Reach him at