"...keeping you great"
Predator vs. Prey -- if you want to reduce your anxiety,
become the predator vs. the prey. The NY Times had an interesting article on the importance of "hunches" --
particularly when it comes to avoiding danger. And anxiety tends to reduce
hunches. Notes the article "in the Army study of I.E.D. detection, researchers
found that troops who were good at spotting bombs in simulations tended to think
of themselves as predators, not prey. That frame of mind by itself may work to
reduce anxiety, experts say." Are you on the offensive during this downturn or
playing defense? Playing not to lose or playing to win? Warning, this article
has a bitter sweet ending.
SCRUM, Used to Develop Software, is an Excellent Project Management Tool -- I mentioned this in an earlier insight -- and at the heart of the SCRUM process is a 15 minute daily huddle. Tom Ball, head of London-based Cognac which specializes in helping companies communicate anything in 10 minutes, pointed me to an excellent Wikipedia overview of SCRUM including the rules of the 15 minute huddle (parallels our approach to the daily huddle). Take a few minutes to review this process or go right to section 4 on the daily scrum.
Highs, Lows, and Need to Knows -- Daily Feedback From Sales -- Nik VanHaeren, President of Ontario-based Uvalux Tanning and Support, sent me a note about their daily data gathering from sales. Notes Nik "I thought I'd share with you one of my favorite management tools. I call it our Highs, Lows and Need to Knows. These are my "tea leaves"... I see a lot of trends, allows me to celebrate successes, find out what's bogging our sales department, and what they are hearing in the industry."
...Three Question Survey -- continues Nik "Everyday, I send a simple survey to our sales team. It has three simple questions on it. What was your high point of the day? What was your low point? And anything you heard that management should need to know? It arrives in their inbox at 4:55pm every day, so the last thing they do before they go home is reflect on their day and get things off their mind. I use Constant Contact to send the survey. It's the first thing that I read in the morning, and I love it. It gives me any key items that I have to look at first thing in the morning. We discuss it at our huddle, and get it done!" It's about seeing trends sooner than your competition and the market.
Barriers to Successful Daily Huddles -- and a CEO from an India-based company sent me the follow reasons why his teams are having a difficult time with their daily huddle -- what they call their D15:
thoughts. First, like the rules for the SCRUM, the meetings must start and stop
on time and be held each day at the same time whether everyone is available or
not, including the boss. Second, even though you might get a daily report,
there's something about hearing the information which let's another sense
process the data and look for patterns. Third, even if you're bumping into each
other during the day, specifically focusing on "What's up the next 24 hours;
Daily data/metrics; and Stucks?" is critical to everyone hearing the information
at the same time and looking for potential opportunities or avoiding train
wrecks. Even if it's just two people, taking 15 minutes to review these key
questions keeps communication clear. Anyone that's married understands that just
because you see each other a lot doesn't mean anything close to clear
communication is happening. And if anyone things they are not stuck, is probably
really stuck or not pushing the envelope.
If you do the daily properly it will save a number of emails, prevent a number of needless interruptions, and keep everyone connected.