20 things the most valued employees do every day

Great Article from Business Insider

Become invaluable. Think about the best boss you’ve ever had. Now, think about the kind of employee that boss valued most. Regardless of who that employee was, I think I can probably describe him or her. That’s because the most valued employees have a lot in common, regardless of their jobs or the companies they work for. Here are 20 of the key things they do almost every day. They buy into the vision. A great leader’s top priority is to provide a goal that is worth his or her employee’s time. READ MORE>>

4 Keys to Predictable and Reliable Results

 

As executive adviser Jacques Neatby wrote in Harvard Business Review:
As one executive once put it to me, ‘the CEO is the most manipulated person in the organization.’ He was reacting to the myth that CEOs, perched as they are atop the organization, see and know everything. Research and experience tell a very different story: CEOs actually find it difficult to obtain the information they need.
In their efforts to gather relevant information from your team (How is the work going? Will we get to our destination on time? What do we need to do differently?), leaders often err on the side of:
  • Too much information. They personally pore over every every graph, slide deck, and spreadsheet, but there’s so much irrelevant noise that they easily lose the signal.
  • Too little information. They seal themselves up in their office and don’t try to tap the perspective of their team. Their decision-making falls out of sync with reality, and they are unable to steer the enterprise.
  • Not the real information. They are given just enough information to allay concerns or deficiencies in their team’s performance or accountability; not the whole truth.
The net effect of these errors is the same: unreliable company performance. Getting the right information in the right amounts is a challenge, but there is a quicker and more accurate way: Khorus-a platform built to help CEOs monitor the real results of their companies:
 
1.  Get the right context. Khorus helps cascade the employee’s insights in context of company goals and objectives. It’s not just more noise; it’s useful, actionable data about the performance of your team from the bottom-up when and as often as you want it.
2.  Get quantitative and qualitative insight. Sometimes how the employee feels in his or her gut and his perspective is just as important as the raw numbers. Khorus gives you balanced feedback.
3.  Get information about the future, not the past. If you’re just getting historical information from the organization, you’re a rear-view leader. Khorus helps you see ahead by asking for predictions, insights and feedback from the bottom up.
4.  Start the feedback loop. As a communication platform, Khorus lays the foundation for critical two-way conversations and accountability that helps everyone get on the same page and avoid barriers to success.
Khorus online platform was engineered to help CEOs deliver consistent, predictable and reliable performance results.  At The SOS Group Inc., we’re now partnering with Khorus, and it’s a powerful combination. You get help from SOS as you develop and implement your winning strategic mission and goals that spells success for your business, plus Khorus as an online platform for collecting and monitoring feedback from the organization to assure predictable and reliable results.
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 for a free demo and to learn more.

4 Cultural Benefits of a Great Strategy-Execution System

ba6fbf5a-2d6b-4adb-9159-c2af4592ecb2Every leader wants their team to have a great culture. But it’s impossible to create or modify culture directly—you can only fuel culture through the organizational systems you create.

As Jay Lorsch and Emily McTague write in the latest issue of Harvard Business Review, “Culture isn’t something you ‘fix.’ Rather . . . cultural change is what you get after you’ve put new processes or structures in place to tackle tough business challenges.”

In the previous two posts in this series, we’ve covered one of the most critical processes any business can set up: a repeatable system for translating company strategy into on-the-ground execution. Khorus was purpose-built to help CEOs implement such a system, which includes:

  • Getting clear on the short-term strategic priorities of the business.
  • Cascading those priorities down into executable goals for the entire team.
  • Soliciting regular quantitative and qualitative insight from employees on how the goals are going. 

Let’s take a look at the specific ways we see cultures evolve when leadership excels at turning strategy into action.

1. Accountability becomes a cornerstone. Accountability is about ensuring that every employee, from the CEO to the frontline, makes clear commitments and keeps them. A transparent, companywide strategy-execution system builds this discipline in a positive, rather than punitive, manner. (And your employees actually want accountability.)

2. Everyone gets in on the game. Every business sets goals, but in the vast majority of companies, most employees feel out of the loop. A robust strategy-execution system involves everyone in the game plan—turning a collection of individuals into a real team.

3. People communicate better. When everyone knows the plan and the role they have to play, communication gets more focused and value-packed. Confusing updates and wild goose chases are replaced by meaningful conversations. This pays off culturally and financially: as Towers Watson has shown, “Companies with high effectiveness in change management and communication are three and a half times more likely to significantly outperform their industry peers.”

4. Employees think ahead. Especially if your strategy-execution system collects explicitly predictive insight (“Will you complete your goal on time?”), like Khorus does, people get really good at thinking ahead. They learn to communicate about likely outcomes and solve small problems before they become big problems—all of which leads to more 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 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!

3 Keys to Enhancing Your Competitive Advantage Today

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During a recent SPE luncheon Hess presented their results and achievements in implementing Lean in their oil and gas operations. They demonstrated outstanding successes and improvements in performance, reducing costs and more.
Lean is about maximizing customer value while minimizing waste, increasing revenues and improving results. Following their success they are expecting their suppliers and contractors to demonstrate commitment and implement Lean programs!  So what should you consider in establishing a Lean program to show commitment and enhance your competitive advantage?
 
Strategy
Lean needs to be a sustainable key strategic commitment cascading from the top down throughout the organization.  Without management’s commitment Lean is just another flavor of the month initiative.
 
Leadership
It is up to leadership to communicate and lead on a continuous basis the implementation of a Lean improvement program. They must cascade accountability and seek out opportunities for improvement in every work process ranging from accounting, management, operations and customer acquisition.
 
Culture
Culture encompasses the values and behaviors of an organization in its execution of the strategy and delivery of results. It is management’s responsibility to nurture the right attitudes and create an environment that motivates its valued resources to achieving the business objectives. Management must make Lean thinking, acting and behaviors a cornerstone of every aspect of their daily business.
 
Winning Results
Rome was not built in a day; however, the ROI from Lean successes can start in less than a week. Companies have realized bottom line improvements of 25 to 45%.  With a continuous program and winning results you can demonstrate your enhanced competitive advantage when your client asks – Are you Lean?
Ask how we can help your team enhance your competitive advantage through a successful Lean initiative.
 
Author – Charles Wilds is senior management consultant with over 30 years of experience in contracting, operations and strategic business development. He works with leadership and organizations to drive alignment to winning behaviors and performance for faster growth and greater profitability.

Enhancing Your Innovative Edge!

76ebaa4f-6cfc-44d3-a177-4b32e2cd21d9In our MUST-DO Strategies post we highlighted that to meet today’s challenges for high quality sustainable growth CEOs are focusing their strategies on Human CapitalCustomer Relations and Operational Excellence.

Let’s look at the fourth strategic area – Innovation!

In business, innovation often results when ideas are applied in organizations in order to further satisfy the needs and expectations of the customers.

The 2015 strategies that CEOs are looking at:

  • How to create a culture of innovation by promoting entrepreneurship and risk taking
  • How to engage in strategic alliances with customers and other business partners
  • How to find, engage and incentivize key talent
  • How to apply new methods, products and services
  • How to develop innovative skills in all employees

These strategies all point to the fundamentals of strategic CHANGE: changing the way we think, changing the way we act, and changing the way we lead those we count on to deliver the results we are seeking.  If you can create an environment where people are recognized for their input, motivated to create and lead, have the right attitudes and skills and give them an engaging direction of where they need to go, CHANGE can happen.

Enhanced outcomes can include: improved company image, more efficient and effective processes and performance, reduced cost, greater accountability, enhanced strategic planning, reliable forecasting and greater goal achievement and better decision-making and greater customer satisfaction. Most of all it will enhance your competitive advantage!

Through our Behavioral Base Change Program we can quickly help you identify the obstacles and then jointly implement an engaging team based change program that will lead to these benefits in today’s challenging market conditions.  Our workshops are tailored to assure focused and quantifiable results.

In our next news letter you will learn more on how forward thinking companies are addressing the next strategic issue; Sustainability!

For a free demonstration on how the Behavioral Based Change Program and tracking tool can quickly create innovation driven team dynamics and enhance your competitive advantage, give me a call. You have nothing to lose and perhaps a great deal to gain.

 

Operational Excellence – Are you focused on the RIGHT things?

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In our MUST-DO Strategies post we highlighted that to meet today’s challenges for high quality sustainable growth CEOs are focusing their strategies on Human CapitalCustomer Relations and Operational Excellence. Let’s look at Operational Excellence and creating a results driven culture!

The business dictionary defines Operational Excellence as “A philosophy of the workplace where problem-solving, teamwork, and leadership results in the ongoing improvement in an organization. The process involves focusing on the customers’ needs, keeping the employees positive and empowered, and continually improving the current activities in the workplace.”

The strategies and actions that CEOs are looking at:

  • How to raise employee engagement to drive productivity
  • How to achieve better alignment between strategy, objectives, and organizational capabilities
  • How to improve organizational agility and flexibility
  • How to redesign business processes to make them simpler and more effective
  • How to continually improve and innovate

During the recent CERAWeek Conference in Houston we heard:

“People are very creative and very innovative and they respond when they are under pressure.  They respond the best!” ExxonMobil Corp CEO Rex Tillerson. 

“Getting to simplicity is harder. It means getting to the core of what’s needed. Cutting costs in the simple manner is rather easy. Cutting the right costs is much more difficult.” Statoil CEO Eldar Sætre said.

When you take the definition of Operational Excellence and overlay it with the CEO’s focus on people and processes and compare that with what is said at the CERAWeek conference it paints a clearer picture of where your initiatives should focus, but not the what and how.

The challenge is determining the what and how that will quickly result in an improved competitive advantage in today’s marketplace?

Through our “GAP” Implementation Program and the interactive online goal tracking tool we can quickly identify the what and how that have delivered quantum leaps in performance, innovation, risk reduction and improved margins of over 30% per year even in challenging times like today.  Our program and workshops are tailored to your needs and objectives to assure focused and quantifiable results.

In our next news letter you will learn more on how forward thinking companies are addressing the next two strategic issues; Innovation and Sustainable!

For a free demonstration on how the “GAP” Implementation Program and tracking tool can quickly create goal driven team dynamics and enhance your competitive advantage, give me a call. You have nothing to lose and perhaps a great deal to gain.

Customer Relations – What do they REALLY value?

64a89d0e-3cfe-4f9d-9c77-dd217fddc515In our MUST-DO Strategies post we highlighted that to meet today’s challenges for high quality sustainable growth CEOs are focusing their strategies on Human Capital, Customer Relations and Operational Excellence. Let’s look at Customer Relations – What do they REALLY value?

Creating a strong culture around customers is one of the critical drivers in meeting the multiple challenges facing industry today.  What do we believe customers really want/need:  Price or Value?  If you believe that the only thing they cherish is the price then don’t read anything further.  If you believe that they are looking for value than read on!

The tendency of our traditional sales and business development efforts is to push services and benefits to our customers.  Try changing the game.  Ask customers what they really value and what their expectations for value are.  You may be surprised that the answers.  If you asked this question of your management you might get different responses but in the end customers want to know if you are the type of company that can trust to get the job done!  They’re always looking for the A-Team at the lowest price! Give them more of what they really value!

The strategies that CEOs are looking to related to Customer Relationships focuses on the following areas:

  • Relationships – Leadership should personally engage with key customers and clients to establish the foundation of trust, value, accessibility and commitment.
  • Quality – Customers are looking for quality in the products and services.  Consider what quality is costing you and your clients.  What would you look for if you were in their shoes?
  • Culture – If you look internally and develop a more outward looking customer centric culture in your organization what would you expect the customer’s response to be?
  • Speed – Time is money!   The current market has created a need for speed and reduced waste!  The quicker you can deliver a quality product, the higher value for your client and a more competitive advantage for your success.
  • Differentiation – Use competitive intelligence to identify your differentiators inline with what the customer really want, need and value. This will help you create your market leverage and success.

YES, clients are pushing for cost reductions in today’s marketplace. However, if he believes that he’s getting a great deal and meeting his expectations, he’ll pay for it!  Raising the focus on delivering better value requires innovative solutions throughout your entire business system in order to reach your full potential. It will also reduce waste and risk while increasing your margin potential, growth and shareholder value.

NOW, ask yourself and your teams these questions: What are we selling?  What are our customer’s problems?  How can we solve these problems in a unique or better fashion?  Do we understand their expectations? Have we a differentiated offering?  Are we asking the RIGHT questions and ARE we listening?  Do we have a culture fit and relationship?

Ask us how we can help Empower your potential to Excel and Perform!

Are ATTITUDES affecting your RESULTS?

253ae1e9-1b46-4df6-9a0c-d216e14d5a8bIn our MUST-DO Strategies post last time we highlighted that to meet today’s challenges for high quality sustainable growth CEOs are focusing their strategies on Human Capital, Customer Relations and Operational Excellence. Let’s look at Human Capital – those mission critical resources necessary for business success.

If you want to improve results there are many initiatives you can try but in the end the most effective way may be to get more out of what you already have through behavioral based change. Attitudes affect behaviors which directly impact results.

Do you need an attitude or behavioral based change? Ask yourself and your teams the following questions:

  • What would an improvement in management team effectiveness mean to results?
  • What is turnover of mission critical resources really costing us?
  • How are our culture and behaviors impacting results?
  • How well do we work together as a team?
  • How are our quality and behaviors affecting client attraction and retention?

If there is a disparity with any of the answers to above or you just want to get better, you may need a positive behavioral based change. Ask us how our INSIDE-OUT Success Formula can improve attitudes and your bottom line results, FAST!

Ask us how we can help Empower your potential to Excel and Perform!

Today’s MUST-DO Strategy!

If you’re keeping up with today’s headlines the energy industry is a scary place to be! In today’s dynamic market what should you do: cut, downsize, restructure, implement strategic changes,…?

Today’s Must-Do Strategies!

According to The Conference Board 2015 CEO Challenge annual survey results fa60e96b-12e8-4ff8-b1e6-0424a2d0af80from across the nation the top three strategies for achieving high-quality sustainable business growth are:

  • Human Capital – Improve Performance Management
  • Customer Relations – Engagement and Quality
  • Operational Excellence – Productivity and Alignment

Your success objectives growth, profit, customer satisfaction, retention and/or shareholder value are dependent on the organizations ability to implement strategic change and maintain a motivated innovative culture and behaviors.

In our next postings you will learn how forward thinking leader’s are addressing these strategies and enhancing their competitive advantage, FAST!

Please feel free to contact me for more information. You have nothing to lose and perhaps a great deal to gain.

Ask us how we can help Empower your potential to Excel and Perform!