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The Wolfgang Huddle

At Wolfgang Commercial Painters we are a little different. The tagline “All You’ll See Is The Difference” kind of says it all. We have a huddle every morning from 11:50 to noon by teleconference (which I lead). As most of us in the company are running around doing estimates for paint jobs and producing the work, the huddle gives us a chance to check in with one another.

Some days the huddle is awesome! Some days it is very weak! But no matter what it is always a chance to check in and have a quick reminder that we are a team

The huddle has four parts to it:

  1. Opening: This is usually good news or bragging, or learning. Generally something positive.
  2. Theme: I have a bunch of topics I go through, sometimes with prep, but usually none. Sometimes it is a call out for anyone to respond, sometimes I ask everyone for a response.  Usually we touch on the company values or key initiatives that the company is working on.
  3. Admin: A boring but fairly essential part of the huddle, just in case no one is reading my emails.
  4. Closing: Something very brief.  One word exit or favourtie colour, movie, food… something to ensure that everyone has had a chance to talk and make their presence in the team noticed.

The most engaging topics for me are the ones where I get learn about our team and what makes them happy. I love the questions that let me know how they are celebrating life.

The biggest challenge in our huddle is the technology. Getting 10 people on the phone at a time can be a big challenge when no one is in a nice quiet boardroom. Sometimes we have bad lines; we get a lot of back ground noise; we have people stuck in meetings; we have cell phone and driving related issues… We have to work hard to make sure that this is not to disruptive and that it still meets its purpose.

It has taken a while to get used to the huddle and it has evolved since it first started but at this point, everyone in the company gets value from the huddles.  As illustrated by the pull quotes below!:

Shawn says “The huddle gives me a sense of connectivity to the team. I enjoy hearing about peoples successes as it motivates me to strive for success.”

Aaron says “I like the huddle because it is the one time throughout the day where I can step back and join my team to hear success and good news and be able to share my thoughts on any given subject for that day. The addition of the jokes and fun stories is a great way to end it as I usually end up leaving the huddle with a smile on my face.” (For a while we were making the exit a joke)

For me though, it is as simple as that the huddle is an important part of the Wolfgang culture. I get to connect with the team on a daily basis, even in the middle of the exterior season insanity.

The huddle started off about being about status, but at the end of the day it is about relating to the team and learning from each other. The huddle is not about problem solving, but when a team member is off or there is an issue you sure can tell and you give them a call right after the huddle.

It has taken a long time for Wolfgang to get here on the huddle road. If you need advice give me a call at 604-727-8918.


About the Author: Greg

Greg Bertram is the VP of Operations and Finance for Wolfgang Commercial Painters, one of Vancouver's largest commercial and strata painting companies. Greg is responsible for overseeing all of the field team and assuring that Wolfgang’s high standards of quality and professionalism are upheld.Greg comes to Wolfgang with varied management experience; having spent the last ten years working for General Paint, Greg joined Wolfgang for its commitment to quality, professionalism, and people.

Wolfgang Commercial Painters

Call (888) WLF-GANG or email

Street Address:

112- 4268 Lozells Ave. Burnaby, BC, V5A 0C6