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Get Up, Stand Up: Stand Up for Your Meetings!

Oh, Business Agility. How do we strive for you? Let us count the ways.

The standing meeting is one of the latest trending practices in our quest to move away from traditional work behaviors.

Essentially, the idea is that keeping employees on their toes – a.k.a. Agile – will make meetings less about secretly texting friends or colleagues and more about productivity. This isn’t a new idea by any means. For example: Allen Bluedorn, a professor at the University of Missouri, conducted a survey in 1998 that found that although standing meetings are typically shorter than sitting meetings, they still contain roughly the same quality of decision-making.

Today a number of companies are capitalizing on this notion by adding their own flavors of both fun and consequence. In today’s article from The Wall Street Journal, Mike Cohn of Mountain Goat Software said that employees who are late to these meetings are required to sing songs like “I’m a Little Teapot,” run a lap around the office or sometimes even cough up a small fine. And, if you show up and start talking your face off, an employee may or may not hold up a rubber rat indicating that it’s time to move to the next person.

(Are your eyes widening in horror yet? Because mine definitely are.)

While it might not seem like it it first, standing up for work is about so much more than being cutting-edge. It’s about managing that whole information overload thing, too. A survey sponsored by VersionOne (complete with a nifty infographic) found that the top three reasons for adopting agile practices were to accelerate time to market, increase productivity and more easily managing changing priorities – all of which continue to suffer under information deluge. Of the techniques applied, standup meetings rate number one at a whopping 78%. Also included in this list are Story Mapping (yay!), Agile Games and Continuous Deployment.

Your Turn

Have you taken a literal stand at your own place of business? Tell us about it. We’d love to know how the method is or isn’t working for you, as well as your personal flavors of fun and consequence (if they’re not too scary).

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