Since lockdown began, our senior team starts the day with a half-hour call at 9 am. We do this every day except Monday (on Mondays we have an extended staff meeting later on). Most days, each member of the executive starts a second call with their own managers immediately after. If someone can’t make it – because of childcare or an urgent meeting, for example – that’s no problem at all.
This practice was actually recommended to us by consultants from the Table Group shortly before lockdown. And I have to say I was sceptical. Everyone is, they said, try it and see. So we did.
And now I swear by it. At a time when we could so easily be fragmented and isolated, spread across the country in our homes, it holds us together. It keeps the tempo of decisions up and substitutes a little for the informal connections that usually lubricate work. We don’t have a set agenda; sometimes it’s little more than socialising. Sometimes it contains momentous decisions. We do try to confirm any actions and messages to cascade.
I also think that the cascade of subsequent meetings is critical, extending the web of timely, informal connection and unity across the organisation, moving from idea to action as quickly as possible and getting us on the same page.
It’s a big investment of time from busy people. It’s hardly a panacea. But it is something I will keep when things return to normal. Internal communications are always a challenge; something simple that can enhance them is worth a shot.
This surprised me. If you don’t already, why not give it a try for a month and see what you think?
The full crisis collection.