4 Steps to Keep Execution Humming

d98f9dcc-fc64-4118-aaa9-5f09ad7e1245In our previous article, we talked about four steps to keep your strategy from dying.
Now, let’s drill down to see what a workable strategy-execution process looks like.
It starts with setting goals. That might sound easy, but most leaders know it’s hard enough sit down and write goals-much less empower the team to get them done. Use this framework to keep execution humming along in every part of your organization:
1. Set specific priorities at the company level.
Start with annual goals. With long-term strategy in mind, what are the priorities for the coming year? To generate ideas, think about possible goals in the key areas of a business (resources, products, process, and markets).
Then, break annual goals into quarterly goals and assign a single, objective metric to each one. For example, how much revenue do you need to make in Q1 to meet your annual target?
 
2. Cascade the goals.
Next, every team and individual should set their own quarterly goals based on the company’s quarterly goals. Again, tie an objective metric to each goal. This exercise ensures that your employees’ work reflects the broader aims of the business.
Doing this well puts you ahead of most of your competitors: According to Deloitte, “barely more than one-third (36 percent) of organizations have a standardized process for cascading goals enterprise wide.”
3. Gather weekly feedback.
Don’t wait until quarter-end to pull back the veil and see whether people met their goals; get regular feedback on how goals are going. Make sure managers check in weekly with their direct reports and escalate any issues to you rapidly. (Software can boost the power of this process tremendously.)
Weekly goal feedback should be:
  • Quantitative and qualitative: You need to know not just about the metric but how the employee feels about the quality of the work.
  • Predictive: You need the employee’s forecast on whether he will meet the goal on time (predictive), not just their status (historical).
 
4. Quickly address new risks.
When you get feedback that a goal is faltering, jump right in. Ask the goal owner what she needs-can someone in the organization offer resources to keep the goal on track? These conversations help the team be nimble and collaborative.
Stay tuned for our next article, where we’ll talk about how leaders who collect predictive insight from the organization benefit from predictable results.
At The SOS Group Inc , we help leaders and organizations develop and implement strategic change, getting them from where they are now to where they want to be-quickly.
We’re now partnering with Khorus, makers of the first enterprise leadership platform. It’s a powerful combination. You get help with developing and implementing strategic goals that spells success for your business, plus the tools and a consistent method for managing and translating the strategy into predictable results.
So,if you’re ready to lead your company forward and gain a measurable competitive advantage in today’s market, give me a call today at 713-249-9569. You have nothing to lose and perhaps a great deal to gain!

4 Steps to Keeping Your Strategy from Dying

 
KhorusIf you had written the Great American Novel, would you keep it locked in your desk drawer?
If you had developed the cure for the common cold, would you keep it to yourself?
Of course not. Your book is useless until it’s published. Your cure is nothing until it gets produced. Yet CEOs and leaders routinely do something similar: They write grand strategies for the next three, five, or ten years but don’t actually help their organization make it a reality.
How do we know that leaders are terrible at this? For one, research:
 Executing isn’t easy, but following a few simple disciplines can keep your company’s strategy from dying on the vine:
 
1. Turn strategic abstractions into concrete priorities.
It’s one thing to state that the company’s strategy in the next three years is to grow revenue 7 percent year over year and begin global expansion. It’s another to break that down into a playbook for next quarter, including goals and metrics for the major areas of the business. What exactly needs to be achieved, and how will success be measured? Create this clarity by setting 4-7 specific goals for the organization every 90 days, making sure they align with the long-term strategy.
 
2. Help the whole team see their part in the strategy.
Share the strategy and company goals with the entire company, down to the frontline-and require that each team and individual set their own supporting goals for the quarter. This keeps everyone strategically aligned even when they face day-to-day distractions. By ensuring that everyone sets well-defined goals each quarter, you also plant the seeds for a culture of accountability and collaboration.
 
3. Talk about strategy all the time.
Don’t think you can just share the strategy once. Use every chance you get-emails, meetings, town halls, informal chats-to talk about actions, decisions, and goals in the context of strategy. This ongoing articulation of the strategy will help employees act strategically even when you’re not there. Let any fear of repeating yourself go. Talk about strategy, and then talk about it some more.
 
4. Refresh every quarter.
Finally, close the loop at quarter-end. Sit down with the leadership team and discuss: Do we need to tweak the strategy based on what happened in the past 90 days? Where did we excel, and where did we fall short? Communicate key takeaways from this discussion to the whole company, then set and share goals for next quarter.
In their now famous Fortune article, “Why CEOs Fail,” Ram Charan and Geoffrey Colvin explain what trips up 70 percent of chief executives: “It’s bad execution. As simple as that: not getting things done, being indecisive, not delivering on commitments.”
At The SOS Group Inc, our mission is to help business leaders and organizations improve their efficiency and effectiveness by helping them develop and implement strategic change that delivers measurable and predictable results, getting them from where they are now to where they want to be-quickly.
We’re now partnering with Khorus, makers of the first enterprise leadership platform. It’s a powerful combination. You get a measurable and predictable strategy that spells success for your business, plus a consistent method for translating the strategy into teamwork and real results.
Remember you cannot manage what you cannot measure.  So,if you’re ready to lead your company forward and gain a measurable competitive advantage in today’s market, give me a call today at 713-249-9569. You have nothing to lose and perhaps a great deal to gain!