What to Expect During Stand Ups at WeWork Labs and How to Organize Stand Ups for Your Own Startup

Your Lab’s weekly Stand Up is your chance to check in, connect, and seek help from fellow Labs members. Stand Ups are designed to create a safe space for you to share roadblocks, struggles, accomplishments, requests for help, and much more.

At WeWork Labs, we believe that coming together as a group fosters a stronger community to help you to learn from your fellow members and grow together. That’s why your Labs Manager hosts a Stand Up each week.

During weekly Stand Ups, your Labs Manager will ask you to share the following:

1. Share your elevator pitch. Practice makes perfect and the more other members know about you and your company, the better. It’s possible a fellow Labs member will hear about someone looking for a company just like yours tomorrow.

2. Repeat your goal from last week and it’s current status. For example: “Last week my goal was to acquire five new customers. I did not achieve that goal; I only acquired four new customers.” Or, “Last week my goal was to get an average of 200 likes on my Instagram posts for the week, and I exceed that number!”

3. Share your goal for the coming week. For example: “This week my goal is to onboard eight new customers.” Or, “This week my goal is to find 20 potential investors I can reach out to for pitch meetings.”

4. Your important asks for your fellow Labs members. For example: “I need a connection to someone in human resources at Unilever. If anyone has a contact there and is willing to connect me, please let me know.” Don’t be shy abut your asks. It’s possible a fellow member is working on a similar challenge or project and can help!

5. Shout outs to your fellow Labs members for their help. For example: “Thank you to Jen for helping us troubleshoot an issue we had with our newsletter subscriber list!”

6. Share how you're feeling! It’s important to check in on your mental wellness and share with the group if you are open to it. In a room full of fellow founders, chances are someone else feels the same way and may have some helpful advice to share.

Here are a few helpful tips to help you get the most out of your weekly Labs Stand Up:

  • Follow up and close the loop with any fellow members who’ve offered to help you.
  • Take notes when you hear best practices or tips from other members that are relevant to you.
  • Amplify your ask(s) for fellow members by following up with them and posting the ask on Slack so other members can see it, too.
  • Keep your updates succinct and to the point so everyone has an opportunity to share.

Just as we facilitate Stand Ups at WeWork Labs, you may also want to organize your own Stand Ups for your startup. Whether it’s just you and a cofounder or a larger team, checking in regularly on roadblocks, wins, and requests for help can help you continue to make progress. And eventually, as your startup grows, each department can have it’s own Stand Up.

Here are a few tips to help you organize Stand Ups for your startup:

  • Make Stand Up something to look forward to. That can be as simple as the name you give it. At my first startup, we called our Stand Up “Rally,” and that name alone got people excited to come and share what they were working on.
  • Signal the beginning and end of each Stand Up. During “Rally,” we played a different song each week to kick off the meeting and we always ended with our CEO sharing a motivational quote.
  • Set a consistent date and time. You want preparing for and attending Stand Up to become part of your teams’ routine, so make sure it happens at the same date and time each week. Send recurring calendar invitations so it’s on everyone’s calendars, too.
  • Keep it short and stick to the agenda. Make sure everyone has a chance to present by limiting the time each person or department has to share their updates and then move onto the next. Put “let’s take this offline” into practice.
  • Actually Stand Up. Wherever you host your Stand Up, remove all chairs so people aren’t tempted to sit down. This will also ensure that the meeting is kept short, since no one wants to stand in one place for an hour.
  • Stick to two to three updates per person or department. Ask people to focus on a recent accomplishment, a current project, and a recent struggle, plus their asks for the team.
  • Lead by example. Taking Stand Ups seriously and showing enthusiasm for them starts with you. Share openly and honestly and come to Stand Ups on time and your team will follow suit.
Author image

Jillian Canning

Currently Sr. Programming Manager, WeWork Labs. Previously Director of Techstars NYC
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