C. Myblog

Strategic Implementation: Huddle Daily for Strategic Success

June 9, 2016

Institutions are in a constant state of change. Core conversions, new products, and improving processes are just a few examples of change that credit unions go through to help support strategic initiatives; inherent in any of these changes is a need for behavior change.

Often institutions focus on the change itself. The change is implemented, employees are trained, and the institution moves on to the next project. The trouble is old habits are easy to fall back into and hard to change. Employees may have been trained, but the institution hasn’t ensured that their behaviors have changed. As a result, people are trying to use a new core system the same way as the old core system, for example, instead of utilizing the features of the new core to the fullest.

A practice we’ve found to be key in changing behavior is a daily huddle. The objective of the huddle is for everyone in a department or group to meet daily to discuss progress towards a metric or goal, and let everyone provide updates on their projects and tasks. As this is done, the manager or leader can do quick check-ins with employees to make sure process changes are being followed, and encourage others to pitch in if someone needs help or is still unclear about how a specific task is to be completed. Ultimately, the huddle helps create an environment of individual and group accountability.

Tips for daily huddles:

  • Keep it short—the huddle should be 15-20 minutes, with each person providing a brief status update on their projects. Encourage people to limit their “war stories” during this meeting.
  • Ask questions—though the huddle is meant to be short, ask clarifying questions to make sure people are on track and process changes are being followed. Keep asking until you’re clear, as everyone will benefit from the conversation.
  • Have folks stand—this keeps with the idea that the huddle is to provide brief updates and helps people stay engaged and not “settle in” for a meeting.
  • Go computerless—computers are distracting and they become a crutch for people to fall back on for their updates. Each person should arrive ready to share their progress and know their numbers without a computer. This creates a powerful habit of taking ownership and accountability for the status of one’s work.
  • Start with the goal(s) and progress—remind the group what everyone is working towards and the progress made.
  • Focus on one or two goals max—there are no shortage of goals and things that need to be accomplished. Pick the one or two goals that are the highest priority, and focus on those.
  • Call out successes—it’s important to acknowledge when things go well and celebrate those successes. Doing so will help build momentum as people start to see the positive impact of their work.
  • Share learnings—share what worked or didn’t work, so everyone can learn and benefit from the successes and failures that occur along the way.

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