Execution Makes It Real
- November 3, 2021
- Business, Culture of Collaboration, Leadership, Managing Change, Strategic Planning, Team Building
Executing on a Strategic Plan is an area where even the best companies lose focus, mostly because they don’t have solid methods and processes to achieve results.
The goal is for processes to run smoothly, with a clear focus and without drama in order to drive your business to industry-leading profitability. Even with the right people in place this is not a given – you must create a foundation of accountability and collaboration.
Here are three main areas you must get right to execute on your strategic plan:
Priorities –The fewer the better in driving focus and alignment. “The main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing” – Stephen R. Covey. We suggest, as you begin the process of setting priorities, that the number not be more than 3. More than that can create a list which does not emphasize the importance of a priority. You can add new priorities as you complete each one.
Metrics – you must have qualitative and quantitative feedback in order to provide clarity and foresight for decision making. Big data analysis is available to most companies these days but what is often lacking is the human-intelligence piece that gives leaders a true gut-feel for the market and what is happening in their company. Talking to customers and employees on a regular, weekly basis, and using that information as a leadership team to make decisions is critical to your success. Make sure all employees are involved in the data collection process so those at the executive level are not overburdened and can focus on analysis and decisions.
Meeting Rhythms – it is important to establish a routine of daily, weekly, quarterly and annual meetings to keep communication flowing, encourage healthy debates and make important decisions.
Below are the recommended meetings to include in your company’s meeting rhythm:
Daily Huddles: these team meetings typically start the day if possible and are scheduled at the time each day. If in the same location, it is good for everyone to stand in a circle. Clearly the development of virtual huddles has been very successful with the same format and time schedule. Depending on the size of the group the huddle can last for just 5 minutes and not more than 15 minutes. It is important to maintain a specific agenda so that diverted conversation does not ensue.
– What is up for me today?
– What is my top priority?
– AM I stuck as I move forward re my priorities?
Weekly Team Meetings for focus and collaboration: The weekly meeting should be held at the same time each week. Most organizations hold them either at the start of the week to set the stage for a productive week ahead, or at the end of the week, to serve as a recap of the week’s activities and performance. This is an opportunity to gather brain power to discuss strategically issues and solutions. This is also an opportunity for the leader to spend time with the team encouraging team relationships.
Monthly Meetings include front-line, middle and senior management and focus on strategic discussion and collaboration on issues and solutions, and further learning. They can be half or full day.
Quarterly Meetings: These are typically held offsite for 1 to 1 ½ day to encourage uninterrupted focus on action planning and review of the yearly strategic plan.
Annual Meeting: This is typically held offsite as well for up to two days and includes review and strategy of the Initiatives for the upcoming year and a quarterly plan for the first quarter.
The term Meeting Rhythms is used because the successful implementation comes from making the above meeting structure a part of everyday work patterns.
This is a beginning structure for successful achievement of company strategy and initiatives.
Focus on Purpose and Core Values for the team, as well as communication and clarity, can be created by these essential aspects of Execution.
More information on this Execution Strategy can be found in Verne Harnish’s book, Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It…and Why the Rest Don’t
If you have any questions on Execution Strategy or would like to share a particular challenge or success, please be sure to leave a comment. I would enjoy hearing from you!