Why We Stand Up

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For most people, standing up is one of the first things they do every day. It is one of the most basic of human actions both literally and figuratively. We stand up to start our day, we stand up for the things we believe in, and on my team, we stand up for our CUSO partners. Standing up is ingrained in my team’s culture. It is a cooperative principle that we have adopted to make sure that we represent all our CUSO partners on our team.

Every morning at 9:15 AM, our team gathers in a conference room, around a cubicle, or lately, in a teleconference. This is not a meeting; it is a conversation. Each person gives us highlights from the previous day and lets us know how they plan to further contribute to our mission.

If they have any problems or concerns, it is a great time to bring them up so they can get the power of the team behind them to remove any obstacles to success. If something comes up that requires some deeper thinking or more than a couple quick comments, we will send everyone off to their day and break out into a task force to address the topic. It all adds up to about a coffee break of time.

What’s in a stand up meeting?

Some of the things we might hear during a stand up meeting include:

“Yesterday I worked with our vendor to fix our RDC posting issues for My Favorite Credit Union. Today I will be working on our new document package management project that we plan to roll out next month. I’m a day behind schedule, but I’ll be able to make it up and still deliver on time.”

“Yesterday I was heads down on the data conversion for Up-and-Coming Credit Union. They will be turned on next week. Today I will be finishing that up and moving on to a new demo for All of Us Together Credit Union with our sales team. I need some demographics on them so I can make sure they see the right features to be able to make their decision to work with us. Can I get those from you, John? Thanks!”

“I was on site for teller training with the new branch at Our Community Credit Union and it went well. They gave me some good feedback on our new tools. I will be following up with them today to make sure they are able to apply their new skills. I’ll be out next week, so if we need to wrap anything up this week, we can talk later this afternoon.”

Each of these updates takes just a couple moments to share but is rich in value. Our leaders get a quick status report on current activities and can make small adjustments to the plan and reprioritize tasks based on the most up to date business needs.

If someone needs information or an assist, it is a great time to ask for it without needing a separate meeting or to disrupt someone’s work in progress later in the day. If there are any obstacles, they can usually be resolved quickly by drawing on team knowledge and power. While we stand up, it is our time to support each other in any way we can as we do our jobs to give you the value we have promised as your partners. Everything we do is in the context of delivering our value to you.

How to get your team standing

The last thing you need is more meetings, distractions, and rote activities done out of habit and obligation rather than value. We have found that by standing up for you every day we are able to have fewer distractions and stay on course. How could your teams incorporate this into your communications? We do it for you. Can you do it for your customers?

Here are some tips:

  • Do it every day, but keep the schedule relaxed
  • It is coffee talk, not a meeting
  • Make it quick; take bigger issues to a smaller audience after standing up
  • Physically stand up, it will keep people on task
  • Celebrate your wins
  • Do it for your customers and do it for your partners
  • If they win, you win

We stand up to represent you. We stand up to make sure you and your interests are included in our team. We stand up to make sure you are taken care of. We stand up every day for you. Except on Fridays where we sit down for a few extra minutes to celebrate our successes and look for ways to make ourselves even better. We will stand up tomorrow just to make sure we are getting it right.

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Comments
  • John Beauchamp says:

    Nice article Bob! I can speak from experience this is a great tool to build cohesiveness in a team and keep the pulse.

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