Byron's Babbles

Daily Huddles

pgden02egu4dcugdaponhhqgrozifj.binLesson #32 in The Disciplined Leader by John Manning (2015) deals with accountability systems and checking up on goals daily. Accountability, regular check-ins are very important. Many organizations, my own school included, use dashboards to keep track of the important data that needs to be regularly monitored. Disciplined leaders are goal minded and this dashboard data needs to be linked to goals both for the organizations, teams and individuals. Besides the dashboard looks at data, Manning (2015) provides three really great ways to manage performance daily. I would like to illustrate these by providing examples of how we do these while doing our state testing for the school I lead. Keep in mind, we are a statewide school and test in 23 different locations – a monster! Here are the three practices:

  • Implement flash reporting – We do this by keeping a spreadsheet that is updated by our site leads at each testing location. An important metric for us is test participation. By law, we need to hit at least 95% attendance for our Full Academic Year (FAY), those students who have/will be with us for 162 days, students. Our goal is 100% of our students to be tested. The spreadsheet shows the sites, FAY students, non-FAY students, attended vs. non-attended, and whether a make-up has been scheduled for non-tested students. This report goes out every evening to our team giving us a flash update as to how we are doing.
  • Manage by walking around – I am sure you have all heard of this practice before, but I practice this during testing by picking three to four locations across the state to just show up and be an extra set of hands. This gives me a chance to visit with teachers, parents, and students and see how we are doing with our testing first hand.
  • Implement “daily huddles” – This is my favorite practice during testing and the one I believe does the most good. Each night we have a daily huddle debrief call with our testing staff, site lead teachers, principals, and myself to debrief about the happenings of the day. This debrief includes a discussion on attendance, things that went well, and areas of concern/challenge/opportunity/problems. The thing I like most about these daily huddles is the fact that it allows us to implement lessons learned the very next day. Another very important component in these huddles is the time spent laughing and telling stories from the day. Most of the time these stories start with, “You can’t make this up.” This time spent telling stories laughing and having some humor really makes the stress of testing go much better and builds camaraderie among the staff. Never forget – humor is an important leadership tool!img_1643-2

I believe these are great tools/best practices for keeping track of important accountability data and goals. Hopefully, my examples from just one area in a very complex school are food for thought to apply to your leadership setting. Do you have other best practices you would like to share or experiences? Please share by replying to this post.

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