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The “Standup” Meeting … The Power of 7-Minute Coordination Meetings

The “Standup” Meeting … The Power of 7-Minute Coordination Meetings

I learned about one of the most effective business tools, the “Standup,” while assigned as a Division Chief on the Joint Staff in the Pentagon. During my time there, the Chairman had a tradition of meeting with his staff at precisely 07:07 hours every morning. In seven minutes, each Admiral and General provided critical updates, coordination information, and decisions needed to ensure that over 2 million personnel had the necessary guidance and resources to accomplish their missions.

This experience taught me that the best organizations are relentless when it comes to synchronizing their efforts. It drove home the importance of building an organizational culture structured to synchronize communications and actions; vertically as well as horizontally.

To help your organization improve the reliability of communications, start by mastering the Standup Meeting everywhere from the C-Suite to the shop floor.

Here are some basic rules to get started:

  • Coordination is most important at the start and end of the day- Schedule your meetings accordingly
  • To avoid time creep and long-winded discussions, conduct the meeting with EVERYONE literally standing up—Aim for seven minutes.
  • Start exactly at the set time.
  • Key players take turns presenting coordinating information to the group in a deliberate, efficient style:
    • Pass critical background information ahead of time if required
    • If help is needed, do your homework and proactively identify the resources required and ask!
    • Know the limits of the Standup. If extended discussion is needed for your topic, schedule separate meetings for deliberation.

Make the standup a part of your organizational culture and watch your communication improve immediately.  Make the timing work for you.  For example, my team meets from 7:13 to 7:20 AM to start every day.  We do a standup wrap up at 5:13 PM.

The number 13 is important to our culture, as it represents the structure of our CATSHOT / C-13 Executive Training & Corporate Transformation Program.

If you’ve implemented standup meetings in your organization, I’d love to hear about how it works for you!


Also published on Medium.

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