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What the heck is a "story standup"?

Many teams gather near the coffee pot, stand in the hallway, or fill the atrium to have a weekly, or, in some cases, daily “stand up.”

These are brief meetings without chairs often used by teams working with agile methods. They’re designed to be short and sweet and an exchange of ideas about what team members are working on and their priorities.

I have a twist on this idea.

What if you called a “story standup” once a week and took stock of what people are thinking, writing and discussing with clients?

According to agile methods, the things to discuss at the meetings would be:

  • What did you accomplish yesterday?

  • What will you work on today?

  • Is there anything that is blocking you from what you’re working on?

So, my list of questions for your weekly “story standup” would be:

  • What story idea did you bring forward yesterday, or which article/post did you publish? How is this in service of your clients/audience?

  • Which idea will you work on today? Again, how will this meet the needs of your clients?

  • What, if anything, is blocking you from developing the idea or story?

An ideas habit

Imagine if your team were talking this out on a regular basis?

They would be actively ideating for the business as a team effort. One person’s idea would get deepened and improved on by another team member’s input.

If you are leading a team in a knowledge-based business, and part of your job is to sell – whether you’re selling engagements, legal services or your own research – then you are probably already asking your team to contribute with articles and ideas.

Why not support them in doing so by providing the structure of a weekly story standup?

It’s a time and space for people to toss around ideas. It’s a place where you can see how an idea lands with others. It’s a place where you would have all hands on deck to better understand how to bring the narrative forward and lead the conversation with the client.

Your weekly story standup would encourage each team member as they build their own ideas habit.

Occasionally, to keep everyone excited, you could call out excellent articles and posts that served as conversation starters with prospects and clients.

That could lead to other interesting conversations about why one story resonated and another didn’t.

I think a weekly story standup would be a very useful exercise for ambitious teams. If you’d like to develop this idea more, please let me know. I’d love to talk about it.

Benefits of a Story Standup

  • Focused attention on your most valuable corporate resource – new ideas

  • Live interaction which captures all the intimacy and nuance of conversation

  • A sounding board facility which also spreads narrative practices

  • Zero hierarchy and schedule allow for spontaneous, immersive exchange

  • Rapid knowledge sharing and learning to create your own team mastermind

By Rhea Wessel

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