Pass It On

4 Min. Read

When I was the CEO of Urnex, I struggled to find a way to keep my team of direct reports updated on key issues. Even more difficult was finding a way for them to efficiently share news with each other. We had daily, weekly, and monthly staff meetings, but it always felt like there was valuable news shared at the watercooler or over an impromptu cup of coffee that could take days or weeks to get to everyone on the team. It is often one person’s little idea or observation that sparks a big idea in someone else. The faster and more efficiently those ideas can be spread, the more likely we are to discover great opportunities.

Eventually, we found a process that worked wonders. Each member of the top team would send out a Friday update email sharing their thoughts with everyone. Beyond helping us pass along information efficiently, the approach helped us reflect on the week and find closure to better enjoy the weekend.

Here is a summary template of 5 key points I suggest you and every member of your team share with each other on Friday. Give it a try:

  1. Accomplishment:  What was my greatest accomplishment this week?
  2. Disappointment: What disappointments did I suffer this week?
  3. Future: What is my primary objective for next week?
  4. Recognition: Did someone on your team or outside the organization do something you appreciated?
  5. Other: This is a place to share something else on your mind. Is there something you worry about or something you are excited about?

Here is an example of a typical email I sent weekly. Take notice that this is easily read in a short period of time:

Hi Gang! Boy am I exhausted. I felt pushed and pulled in a million directions this week. I’m thrilled it’s Friday but I’m also super excited about what we’re accomplishing and how we are moving forward. Here’s a quick recap. Looking forward to hearing from each of you:

  1. Accomplishment: Finally – We got the order from Acme Co. Dan and I have been talking to those guys for nearly 3 years. Let’s make them wish they’d come to us years ago and never let them leave.
  2. Disappointment: I really thought we would have heard back from the city with permission to move forward with our plans for the factory expansion by now. It doesn’t mean we won’t get the OK but it’s definitely another week lost. We might have to start thinking about off-site warehousing if the delay goes on much longer. Keep in mind for planning.
  3. Future: Next week is a big one. Monday and Thursday we will have visitors coming from Taiwan and Chicago. Let’s be sure the place looks perfect and we’re prepared to wow them. On Tuesday the accountants will be here so Sarah and I may be tied up in long meetings. Don’t be afraid to interrupt.
  4. Recognition: Wow – Amazing job with the new website that launched this week. Kudos to Lina, Jeff, and Anna. I have had many complimentary emails from customers and friends. Great job! I will be sending a similar email of praise and thanks to the entire organization.
  5. Other: The order flow is really building. Keep in mind to make sure we don’t get overwhelmed toward the end of the month. Stay ahead of it in customer service and production. If you need to ask people to work extra hours, do it! Let’s keep things on track and be ahead of problems.

Have a great weekend.