The term ‘huddle’ gains a unique identity at Mach Media
I like the word ‘huddle’. To me, it reflects the warmth of the word ‘cuddle’ but without the intimacy. And it is inclusive; bringing a group together for a common good. Dictionaries proffer alternative definitions but it is the 'crowd together; nestle cozily' meaning that fits our new weekly 10-minute EU-team check-in meeting. Our 'common good' is the opportunity for each member of my team to share, offline and in person, anything they feel is important that will make the next seven days better for them, their colleagues and their clients. But how do you do that with nine people in 10 minutes in a cozy, effective and efficient way?
Well, I drew on my experience from a previous life, as a kid's piano teacher, and have adopted an old-school approach: flash cards. I have made the word huddle mean more to us than the definition described above; branding it to suit our needs. With each letter of the word having gained its own meaning, we have our weekly agenda in place and food for thought until the next week's MM HUDDLE. If no-one has anything to share on a particular letter, we skip immediately to the next one.
H is for 'Happy': 1) what over the past seven days made you happy (e.g. a client compliment or help from a colleague)? What would make you happy over the next seven days (e.g. a quieter office or winning a proposal that's out)?
U is for ‘Underworked’.
D is for ‘Drowning’ in work. The ‘U’ and ‘D’ cards are flashed concurrently - a useful moment for tweaking resources to keep a balanced workload. No-one should have steam coming out of their keyboard while another is twirling their mouse in boredom.
D number two is for ‘Development’. A reminder to follow agreed-upon professional development activities and/or share experiences on this topic e.g. interesting courses done or conferences attended.
L is for ‘Leave’. Does anyone have any holiday or leave of absence upcoming? If so, the ‘L’ serves as a reminder to inform clients and colleagues, and prepare handover docs for colleagues, to keep projects running seamlessly.
E – last but not least – is for ‘Excellence’. Something we strive for in everything we do at Mach Media. I send the team off for the next 7 days with a message that aims to inspire them to focus on key areas of excellence that are essential to our business: customer centricity, quality and organizational excellence.
It's tough working in a boutique marcom agency: high pressure, tight deadlines, ever-changing trends and technologies, and a vast range of topics to know and understand. I don't want my team members to feel alone on the job. Like with penguins, huddling in a group is our best chance of survival to keep out the cold, shed our fears and survive climate change. Only differences are that we huddle in the kitchen area with a coffee in hand and – unlike penguins – my team is able to fly high.
By Sybylla Wales, Director Europe