Show up on time every day at 8:30am

Edited excerpt from eShares 101 by Henry Ward:

There are many similarities between eShares and a professional sports team. For starters, our entire company meets everyday at 8:30am to begin the day together. Everyone — engineering, sales, services, office management. Nobody is exempt. In sports, even the goalie, who may have a completely different practice schedule from the rest of the team, still meets at the same time to warm up.

Teams meet to solve problems, brainstorm ideas, share work, or just catch up. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the whole company meets for an hour-long Show & Tell. This is an opportunity for everyone to share, debate, and participate in the bleeding edge of eShares’s progress and decision making.

Most people think it’s crazy that we make everyone be in the office at 8:30am every morning. We think it is crazy not to. The New England Patriots would never tell players, “Show up for practice when it is convenient.” If you want to be the best in the world at what you do, start every day together.

Notes:
(1) I have mixed feelings about this, perhaps because I’m an introvert. I started every day alone thinking about Seeking Alpha’s goals and the most important tasks for the day, and only after that went to the office. The last thing I wanted to do was start every day with a group meeting — uugh! (I later read about the importance of clearing time for deep thinking, and that starting your day alone, quietly thinking about your goals, leads to greater clarity, motivation, success and happiness.)
(2) But I suspect my absence first thing in the morning had an impact on team discipline and the atmosphere in the Seeking Alpha office. Should I have scheduled my “alone time” early enough to arrive at 8.30am every morning? Should I have swallowed my aversion to group meetings, and done one every Tuesday and Thursday morning, as Henry Ward advocates?
(3) To what extent is how you want to start your day a function of personality, and to what extent are there objective best practices?

4 thoughts on “Show up on time every day at 8:30am

  1. I’m with you, I like starting my day solo to get myself going and super focused. Also, any mandatory meetings like this prior to 9:30 is most likely discriminatory against people with school age children. Not great for building a supportive and inclusive culture.

    • Sandrop, good point about people with school aged children. There’s also an issue of avoiding rush hour and providing more flexible work hours generally. But does that come at the cost of team efficiency and morale?

  2. As a company scales up maintaining a shared situational awareness becomes much harder. It can be hard for leaders and managers, who are often in the middle of many communication loops, to appreciate the “left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing’ challenges that multiply as you scale. Henry Ward is advocating one approach that worked for eShares. When I worked at the 3Com division Bob Metcalfe ran he would have the entire team assemble on a Friday afternoon to get everyone on the same page (shares successes, align priorities, share numbers, etc..). To me the tension between an introvert wanting to get thoughts in order the the need for managers/leaders to communicate have to balanced.

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