Summary: Assuming you believe that God exists and that He’s interested enough in you that He had a purpose for you, not just when you came into the world but long before that – He had you in mind when He first spun the world itself into existence.
“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24).
I used to work at a place where we had daily meetings. Every morning at 8:00 we would sit down for fifteen minutes and go over the day’s schedule, discuss yesterday’s production, correct mistakes and add on to this day’s schedule anything we may have missed yesterday.
We all knew our jobs and responsibilities. It wasn’t like we had to re-learn how to make widgets; that wasn’t the purpose for the meeting. When you came to the meeting each morning it was assumed you already knew your job description. The purpose for the daily production meeting was to focus on the work due that particular day. We also took time to correct anything that might have gone off-target or been left undone the previous day.
The daily meeting wasn’t a cheerleading session or a re-statement of corporate goals. We already knew our responsibilities and we knew the company’s mission statement and long term objectives. The meeting wasn’t about that. Sometimes our boss would have to use time in the daily meeting to correct the general direction of our performance and to effectively communicate the company’s mission in relation to our continued employment; but that wasn’t the purpose of the daily meeting.
Our part of the daily meeting was to let the boss know what we needed to keep our production on schedule and to bring up any problems in the work flow. If we didn’t understand a task or a process, this was the time to bring it up. If there was a problem on the floor with machinery or co-workers, now was the time to take care of it.
It wasn’t like our boss needed to be informed about what we needed or what yesterday’s production problems were. He had grown up in the business and he was usually better at anticipating our needs than we were at identifying them. He also kept his eye on the production floor. He knew when a machine or process was starting to go south and he had a pretty good idea of who the slackers were.
The boss liked to get our input out of the way first. It was like he wanted us to get our problems and points of view out on the table before he laid out the day’s work for us. We liked that too. It made us feel like we had been heard and that he cared about what we needed and our concerns with how things were going.
We felt pretty good speaking up about what we wanted and needed on the floor or about our worries that machines or other employees wouldn’t live up to our expectations. We felt like our voices were being heard and our needs were being met. We didn’t realize that we weren’t really there to have our voices heard and our needs met. Our voices were heard and our needs were met as a result, but it wasn’t the main purpose of the daily meeting. It wasn’t why we kept our jobs. It was the last half of the meeting that kept us employed.
After we presented our needs and concerns, the boss wanted to share with us the needs of the company that day and what our particular roles would be in fulfilling those needs. It was, after all, what we were here for.
The purpose of the meeting was to focus on daily production needs and our roles in fulfilling them in light of the overall goals and objectives of the company. The overall goals and objectives of the company were too big picture and too long term to hold our attention each day. Our boss knew that. He also knew that if he could keep us focused on just the day’s goals and objectives and if he could do that consistently day after day, we’d accomplish the long term goals and objectives of the company – even if we weren’t aware of it.
So that’s what the daily meeting did for us. It gave us a voice in our own jobs and it focused us for our tasks of the day in relation to the company’s long term goals and objectives. On occasion, there was a little cheerleading; every so often there may have even been a butt-chewing. But the purpose for that meeting was to prepare ourselves for the day ahead.
A daily meeting is a pretty good idea. It keeps the channels of communication open and keeps everyone focused on the task at hand. I’ve worked at companies that held meetings weekly instead of daily. Weekly meetings beat no meetings at all, but they were never as effective for keeping our focus as the daily meetings. It was just too easy to lose track without that short get-together each morning.