Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on March 21st, 2014

Business Tempo [Ben's Productivity Podcast]

Keeping a Steady Business Pace is Crucial to Daily Operations

Hi, welcome to the podcast. I wanted to talk today about setting a business tempo. This is something I learned about in the Rockefeller Habits book and you'll hear me talk about a lot of things that I learned there. But the idea of setting a business tempo really is akin to the drummer on a ship. In the old ships when they would row, there was a drummer who kept the beat and that kind of kept everyone moving at the same time and brought a lot of efficiency to that process. The things that we do at Volacci to set a business tempo: The first thing is, when we first come into the office, it's not strictly enforced, but we have what we call "quiet hours". And that's first thing in the morning people coming in, getting caught up on emails, taking care of projects, really trying to get some work done first thing in the morning. And that goes until 11 o'clock. At 11 o'clock, we have our daily huddle, which we call "flock" and in that daily huddle we talk about what we did yesterday, what we have to do today and that's where a lot of work gets assigned out and it just kind of lets anybody who has any issues bring those up and handle them right there on the spot and that really can move some things forward. That's kind of our daily tempo and those are the things we do every day. Often, right after flock, a lot of people go to lunch because that's kind of the natural lunch time.

On a weekly basis, we have our management meeting on Monday afternoon. On Fridays, we all have breakfast together, we bring in breakfast tacos, and we also have about a 30 minute training, and then we also have what we call WIFLE and Kudos. WIFLE is 'What I Feel Like Expressing' and it's just a way for people to talk about whatever they want. And kudos is once a week we kind of call each other out on the good things that we've done, all the positive things that have happened that week and that really helps keep us focused on a regular basis giving praise and reward to those people that are performing really well and it just keeps us all focused and lets everybody know all the good things that are going on in the company. So that's kind of the daily and weekly tempo. On a quarterly basis, we have a quarterly management meeting which is an offsite planning meeting; it takes about half a day. And then we also have on a quarterly basis we have what's basically an annual meeting and if your company is growing quickly, you need to have annual meetings every quarter and that really sets the pace and lets everyone know where we're going and what we're doing. And that can change really, really quickly as your company grows.

So, those are all the things that we use to set a business tempo and so my question to you today is: What are you doing in your business to set a tempo. What are the strokes that you are laying down to get everybody moving at the same time and in the same direction.

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